IRAN

"Long live Ahmadinejad!"

Mahmood Ahmadinejad has come up against a great deal of personal invective in the run up to the presidential elections. Supporters of his main rival Mir Hossein Mousavi's are increasingly chanting "Pinocchio Ahmadinejad" and "" at rallies. For the president's supporters, this is going a too far.  Read more...

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Photos by Mohammad Hossein Khoshbayan

Mahmood Ahmadinejad has come up against a great deal of personal invective in the run up to the presidential elections. Supporters of his main rival Mir Hossein Mousavi's are increasingly chanting "Pinocchio Ahmadinejad" and "Ahmadi-bye! Bye!" at rallies. For the president's supporters, this is going a too far.

There are no reliable polls in this campaign, but analysts forecast a tight second round between the ‘moderate conservative' Mir Hossein Mousavi and the president. Ahmadinejad has tried a few tricks to take credibility from his opponent. He accused him on TV of being supported by allegedly corrupt figures citing former president Hachemi Rafsandjani - a strategy that has backfired and actually boosted Mousavi's popularity. Despite his lack of charisma, the former prime minister has succeeded in gaining support from the overwhelmingly young electorate. His supporters never miss an opportunity to heckle or mock Mahmood Ahmadinejad.

We also published Mousavi's supporters comments on the subject.

Pro-Ahmadinejad heckled in the streets of Teheran

This video was filmed by Mohammad Hossein Khoshbayan. A group of pro-Mousavi supporters (holding green flags) boo Ahmadinejad militants as they drive through the streets of Teheran (0'11).

"His opponents do not respect Islamic values"

Rihaneh is a theology student living in Teheran.

I feel so sorry but also angry at these people coming into the streets making fun of our brave president and calling him a liar. Most of them do not know what Islam is, nor do they respect Islamic values. They are guided by traitors and only want to take power for themselves.

We now understand when our president warns us that the enemy will use any means to attack our Islamic values.

I will stay on the stage to support our president until the end because I believe he is one of the most honest, the wisest and the bravest man in Iran."

"Ahmadinejad is popular not only in Iran but also in the entire world"

Ahmedinejad supporter Mohammad is a 24-year-old engineering graduate.

Last night we were on the streets showing our support to Mahmood Ahmadinejad. Our president explained how his opponents are all corrupt and how they started a psychological war to win.

The team in charge of Moussavi's campaign gives money to teenagers for advertising him and to shout insulting slogans.

Yesterday, some pro-Ahmadinejad supporters gathered around Iran's national flag, the symbol of the president's campaign.

Some youngsters came and started dancing around them, insulting and heckling the group. We understood from this behaviour that they were against not only Ahmadinejad but also against our Islamic values. It was very chocking.

We believe Ahmadinejad is popular not only in Iran but also across the world, and especially in Muslim countries. But the opposition calls him a "liar" and a "dictator"!

Today, I think Iran is a key player in the world. Ahmadinejad is the only person to respect our country's real value.

He believes in equality and the role of religion. He believes in the glory of our country and independence, like the Islamic Revolution did: "No to East, No to West, Just the Islamic Republic"

Three decades after our revolution, we feel we are back to the root of it. With Ahmadinejad, we have come back to our glory and ideals.

Those afraid of the situation are just scared of losing their grip on power. They act like a mafia and question Ahmadinejad's brilliant mandate. It is shameful to call him ‘liar'. They are people who do everything to keep themselves in power.

Photos by Mohammad Hossein Khoshbayan