Ahmadinejad: Iran's Man of Mystery

It is well known that Ahmadinejad doesn't have operational control over the nuclear program or Iranian foreign policy but the exact extent of his powers, beyond management of the domestic economy, remains a mystery

Morteza Nikoubazl / Reuters

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

At precisely the moment that Barack Obama plus the leaders of Britain and France were announcing the existence of the secret Iranian nuclear facility near Qum, a group of TIME editors were sitting down to interview Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at his New York City hotel. Our strategy was to avoid the obvious questions — Ahmadinejad has been grilled relentlessly about his heinous views on the Holocaust — but there was an obvious question that needed to be asked immediately: What was his reaction to the impending Obama statement? He seemed befuddled. His first response was incomprehensible: "So, is all the...

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