When Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad isn't denouncing German octopi or teasing George Stephanopoulos, he likes to give speeches blaming Iran's catastrophic problems on other people. And those speeches, reports Radio Free Europe's Golnaz Esfandiari, can include some pretty unusual language. Here's Esfandiari ably explaining just one Ahmadinejadism, "The bogeyman snatched the boob."
In a harangue delivered to Iranian expatriates visiting Tehran last week, Mahmud Ahmadinejad resorted to an odd turn of phrase to describe the futility of Washington's use of threats and allegations against Iran.
"The bogeyman snatched the boob," the Iranian president declared.
The expression is one used by mothers in Iran when they are weaning their children off breast milk. But "mameh," slang for breast in Farsi, is not often uttered publicly in a country where words and expressions of even the slightest sexual nature are considered taboo and commonly censored in books and publications.
Esfandiari says this is part of a rising trend in the hard-line populist's behavior; "recently the Iranian president has stepped up his use of undiplomatic language, reaching new lows in the process." For example, he said, "Pour the water where it burns, why are you wetting other parts?" This is a reference to "burning asses," explains Esfandiari. Ahmadinejad also called the U.S. a "quadruped" stuck in the "region's swamp." Oppositions leaders within Iran are, according to the president, "goats."
Ahmadinejad's coarse speech has drawn criticism from within the regime, including from conservative judiciary chief Sadeq Larijani, and mockery from many Iranians. Esfandiari reports that a Persian-language Facebook page, "We want the boob snatched by the bogeyman back," already has over 11,000 members.