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How Iran's Blogs Saw Ahmadinejad's Homecoming

Much has been written about how Iran's President Mahmud Ahmadinejad received a hero's welcome after returning from the divisive anti-racism conference in Geneva.

But while the state-controlled news agency and conservative papers portrayed Ahmadinejad's speech as a victory for Iran, plenty of commentators said that in fact the speech about Israel was damaging to Iran.

Blogger "Khorsand" described Ahmadinejad's speech, which prompted a walkout by Western delegates, an "international humiliation" for Iran and said the president speaking about human rights and human dignity is beyond shame.

The blogger wrote that Iran's state television is insulting people's intelligence by trying to portray Ahamdinejad's UN speech as a victory.

Another blogger, "Az har dari," addressed Ahmadinejad directly and asked: "Mr. President, Are you our president? Or the president of the Palestinians?"

"Az har dari" notes that Ahmadinejad began his speech with some verses from the Koran, which he recited in Arabic, then he spoke about Israel and the Palestinians.

"Why didn't you speak about Iran?" the blogger asks. "Are you [Iran's] president or the Arab-speaking president or the Palestinians?

Another blogger posted a picture by the semi-official Fars news agency of Ahmadinejad surrounded by people holding Lebanese and Palestinian flags. The Fars headline said "People welcoming Ahmadinejad upon return from Geneva."

The blogger, "Kamangir," asks: "Mr. President, did your plane land by mistake at Tehran's Mehrabad airport?"

And remember, the speech Ahmadinejad gave was reportedly a toned-down version. In the original, he was supposed to describe the Holocaust as "ambiguous and dubious."

-- Golnaz Esfandiari

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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at

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