Ahmadinejad is having the best week ever

With Gaza suffering and Eastern Europe shivering, one person seems to be in a perfect position to take advantage of both crises: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Not suprisingly, Iran is taking the lead in expressing the Islamic world’s anger over the Israel’s actions in Gaza and Ahmadinejad has been right in the thick of things. ...

By , a former associate editor at Foreign Policy.
589768_090107_mahmoud5.jpg
589768_090107_mahmoud5.jpg

With Gaza suffering and Eastern Europe shivering, one person seems to be in a perfect position to take advantage of both crises: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Not suprisingly, Iran is taking the lead in expressing the Islamic world's anger over the Israel's actions in Gaza and Ahmadinejad has been right in the thick of things.

The president has been losing some popularity lately as the financial downturn has highlighted his dismal economic record. The anti-Israel outrage is providing him a boost, just when he needed it the most:

With Gaza suffering and Eastern Europe shivering, one person seems to be in a perfect position to take advantage of both crises: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Not suprisingly, Iran is taking the lead in expressing the Islamic world’s anger over the Israel’s actions in Gaza and Ahmadinejad has been right in the thick of things.

The president has been losing some popularity lately as the financial downturn has highlighted his dismal economic record. The anti-Israel outrage is providing him a boost, just when he needed it the most:

Whether or not Iran’s Gaza strategy wins points on the international front, Israel’s offensive has been a domestic windfall for Ahmadinejad and his circle of hard-liners, analyst Javedanfar said. On Tuesday, the president submitted to parliament a controversial bill to eliminate decades-old subsidies on fuel and electricity.

“This will make him even more unpopular,” Javedanfar said. “But the Gaza affair is a gift to him, which he will use to distract the Iranian people from the economic [pain] about to hit them.”

Ahmadinejad got another gift this week as the Russo-Urkainian gas-pricing dispute led to supply disrputions in Turkey. Iran is already Turkey’s second-largest gas provider, sending 18 million cubic meters of gas per day. With the Russian supply looking questionable, Ankara has increased their order for Iranian gas. With the Gazprom spat becoming an annual occurence, can it be long before European countries start taking a second look at Iran as an energy source? Recovering oil prices can’t hurt either.

Things may be looking up for Ahmadinejad, which is to say, down for everyone else.

Update: Al Qaeda’s having a pretty good week too, says Marc Lynch.

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @joshuakeating

Tag: Iran

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