Several Iranian news websites, including shahabnews.com, are reporting that Iran's president, Mahmud Ahmadinejad, has said that during his March visit to Iraq he met with a senior U.S. commander. According to Ahmadinejad, the unnamed commander was eager to meet him and told him: "You have a place in my heart. I would very much like to take a photo with you."
Ahmadinejad reportedly made the comments during a June speech to commanders of the Basij paramilitary force. And being Mahmud, he said that he kindly accepted the photo opportunity. (The comments were aired on Iran's state television on July 9.)
Shahabnews.com also quoted Ahmadinejad as saying that after the photo session he patted the "commander of the occupying forces" on his back and encouraged him by saying, "take good care of the Iraqi people."
Ahmadinejad has never been immune to bizarre behavior, but recently he does seem to be getting stranger and stranger.
-- Golnaz Esfandiari