And that is not the only setback that Ahmadinejad has suffered:
FOR 30 years, the tradition has been for each newly elected president of the Is lamic Republic to travel at once to Mashad, Iran's main "holy" city, to thank Ali bin Mussa, the only one of Shiism's 12 imams buried in Iranian soil.
When he was first elected president four years ago, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made much of the Mashad trip by spreading rumors about his "secret" connections with the imams. This year, the state-owned media were presented his new pilgrimage as a "working visit" during which the imam would review and approve the president-elect's program.
But Ahmadinejad was forced at the last minute to scrub the trip. Angry Mashadis, many of whom believe Ahmadinejad stole the election, were determined to give him a rough reception. Despite the presence of some 15,000 Basij security men in the city, the authorities couldn't guarantee the president's safety -- let alone deliver the enthusiastic, welcoming crowds that he requires for propaganda purposes.
- Last Friday, his visit to Shiraz, Iran's cultural capital, was called off on "security grounds."
- On Monday, the Foreign Ministry canceled what was to be the first-ever visit by an Iranian leader to Libya.
- On Tuesday, it was announced that Ahmadinejad will not be traveling to Sharm-el-Sheik in Egypt to address the summit of the nonaligned movement.
- Ahmadinejad's campaign to lead the "nonaligned" group and host its next summit in Tehran in 2012.
- Long-planned visits with six leftist leaders in their Latin American capitals were placed on the back-burner.
Wounded politically at home, perhaps mortally, Ahmadinejad is in no position to claim an international leadership position.Read the whole thing.
There may very well be only one other person who has had such difficulty getting respect.
Separated at birth?