He portrayed himself as a humble servant of the people, an image designed to appeal to millions of Iran’s urban and rural poor.
And despite an apparent surge in popularity for his main rival Mirhossein Mousavi, Ahmadinejad – an ultra conservative, child of the Iranian revolution and a member of the hardline revolutionary guard -has won another four-year term as president of Iran. He has friends in high places, he is a close ally of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who is arguably the real power in the Islamic Republic. Since he was first elected in 2005 Ahmadinejad caught the headlines with his anti-American, anti-Israeli speeches, even going so far as denying the Holocaust. The comments prompted diplomats to show their disgust by walking out. And his relentless quest to turn Iran into a nuclear power has brought UN and other sanctions on the Islamic Republic. Nevertheless it seems it is this defiance which has brought him support. Iran experts had been predicting Ahmadinejad would lose the election race second time around because of his abysmal failure on his constant promises to lift millions of Iranians out of poverty. During his presidency oil soared to a hundred and fifty euros a barrel, bringing in Iran billions of much needed revenue. But Iran’s poor saw no benefit and at least fifteen million families still have to survive on around 432 euros a month. Inflation is officially 15 percent but is thought to be much higher. Unemployment has soared during Ahmadinejad’s time in office and power cuts in summer and winter are common. Despite all this the voters of Iran have decided to give Ahmadinejad a second chance. With it Iran’s quest for nuclear power will almost certainly be stepped up.