Nov 2, 2018

How Iran's Ahmadinejad found meaning in rap

Last year, Mr Ahmadinejad attempted to run for president against the moderate incumbent, Hassan Rouhani, despite being warned by Ayatollah Khamenei that such a move was "Not in his interest and that of the country". US President Donald Trump's decision to abandon the landmark nuclear deal negotiated by Mr Rouhani and reimpose crippling economic sanctions on Iran appears to have presented Mr Ahmadinejad with an opportunity. As a non-English speaker, Mr Ahmadinejad is obviously not writing the English-language Tweets himself. Ahmadinejad1956 is clearly aimed mainly at an international audience, but Mr Ahmadinejad also runs accounts in Persian on both Twitter and the messaging service Telegram, which is believed to be used by about 40 million Iranians - almost half the country's population. Whether Mr Ahmadinejad will be able to replicate his popularity online with success in the political sphere remains to be seen.

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