Ahmadinejad’s preoccupation with Serena Williams outfit

Mashari Althaydi
Mashari Althaydi
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The histrionics of former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad never end with the most recent one being his glorious defense of tennis player Serena Williams’ right to wear the full-length skin-tight black cat-suit.

The French Tennis Federation deemed it as dress code violation and said it would no longer be allowed at the next French Open tennis tournament.

Ahmadinejad, who while delivering an address at the UN, famously said that Imam Mahdi appeared to him and he was surrounded by a halo of light, wrote on Twitter: “Why is the French Open disrespecting Serena Williams?”

He then added the more important message: “Unfortunately some people in all countries including my country haven’t realized the true meaning of freedom.”

One of the last things one can believe is that a Khomeini project, that has been so deeply immersed in his ideology, since early days, cares about the freedom of women in France or America.

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This is a joke that cannot be taken seriously. It is as if you believe that ISIS’s Baghdadi cares about protecting white dolphins or black seals in the North Pole from being hunted.

The truth remains that the former Iranian president is not preoccupied with the design and color of Serena’s outfit, the African-American tennis player, but with arguing with the authorities.

He has decided to shift to the role of the opposition figure and the people’s hero and ride the wave of popular anger against corruption and decline of the Iranian authority, beginning with the Supreme Leader Khamenei himself.

Prior to that, Ahmadinejad posted a video calling on Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to resign. “Mr. Rouhani, the people do not accept you. You, the fundamentalists and the reformists are all accomplices in what’s happening.”

The truth remains that former Iranian president is not preoccupied with design and color of Serena’s outfit but with arguing with the authorities

Mashari Althaydi

Popular anger

Ahmadinejad is trying to draw a new image of himself and is flirting with popular anger in Iran. He is aligning himself with the youth, who reject the rigidity of authorities.

Preventing women from attending football matches and sports events and oppressing is a behavior that’s familiar to Tehran’s rulers, and this includes the phase when Ahmadinejad himself was president.

Therefore, he does not have any moral legitimacy today to lead this speech of individual rights, including lifting chains off women.

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In 2015, the Iranian authorities detained Iranian-British woman Ghoncheh Ghavami after she tried to watch a men-only volleyball match. She was sentenced to one year in prison.

Ahmadinejad is chattering about these things to spite today’s rulers. His approach has upset the head of the Khomeini regime as, in December 2017, Khamenei harshly criticized Ahmadinejad’s stances and accused him of spreading “absurdities” against state institutions.

The tales and falsehoods of Khomeinist and populist Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are endless, and Khamenei’s cry today is: “Even you Nejad”.

This article is also available in Arabic.

Saudi journalist Mashari Althaydi presents Al Arabiya News Channel’s “views on the news” daily show “Maraya.” He has previously held the position of a managing senior editor for Saudi Arabia & Gulf region at pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat. Althaydi has published several papers on political Islam and social history of Saudi Arabia. He appears as a guest on several radio and television programs to discuss the ideologies of extremist groups and terrorists. He tweets under @MAlthaydy.

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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