Foreign Policy Blogs

Who Would Ahmadinejad Vote For?

If you were President of Iran, who would you most like in the Oval Office? There is, clearly, much up for discussion: Iraq, nuclear proliferation, economic sanctions, peace in the Middle East, the list goes on.

Last month Iranian President gave us a glimpse of his preferences when he officially retracted his “alleged” support for Barack Obama as President of the US, because he thinks Obama is “unelectable,” presumably due to his race.

From the state-run Iranian news agency IRNA:

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Wednesday ruled out his alleged support for the US presidential candidate Barrack Obama.

“I did not support Obama. I just gave the message (in an interview with Spanish daily `El Pais’) that the American ruling system will not let Obama be elected. Even if all Americans vote for him, the US ruling system will not allow Obama to be president,” Ahmadinejad told reporters after cabinet weekly session when asked about his statement on Obama in an interview with El Pais.

Ahmadinejad said Americans have differences among themselves and the differences are deep and complicated, while they pretend to have democracy their conflict is so deep.

It's fair to say that Americans have deep and complicated differences–racism is a problem in the US. But keep in mind this is coming from the man who deniedthe existence of homosexuals in his country. That is, he may not be the best person to comment on the state of race in America when he himself is a bit out of touch with the country he leads.

But there does seem to be a perception floating around the world that the US is quite a racist nation. I recall hearing that same remark coming from an Irish journalist reacting to Obama's race speech, he said that there is a widespread perception in the UK that Americans are more racist than they–and that stings because racism in the UK is quite a problem.

Or rather, is the perception that Americans are racist a part of a broader Anti-American sentiment, that American society holds an array of undesireable qualities and racism is just one of them? I bet I know Ahmadinejad's answer to that question… What do you think?



Melinda Brouwer

Melinda Brower holds a Masters degree in Global Politics from the London School of Economics and Political Science. She received her bachelor's degree in Political Science and Spanish at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She received a graduate diploma in International Relations from the University of Chile during her tenure as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar. She has worked on Capitol Hill, at the State Department, for Foreign Policy magazine and the American Academy of Diplomacy. She presently works for an internationally focused non-profit research organization in Washington, DC.