It's been surprising to see former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who more or less disappeared from public view after leaving office in August, attempt a modest little comeback over the past couple of weeks. There was his April 1 speech at a war memorial (he condemned the West, shocker), he started tweeting last week, and now he has followed Justin Bieber and President Obama in the most nakedly self-promotional act of all: the tweeted selfie.
هرچه از دوست رسد نیکوست pic.twitter.com/wZMrtOYlVS— Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (@DrAhmadinejad) April 16, 2014
The text reads "Whatever comes from friends is good," according to a translation by Radio Liberty reporter Golnaz Esfandiari.
Maybe, if we are very lucky, the mere fact that the "Ahmadinejad selfie" now exists will kill the awful trend of head-of-state selfies forever. If nothing else, it does seem to confirm that the account belongs to Ahmadinejad (Twitter typically does not verify high-level Iranian government users, as the service is banned there) and that he's trying to return to the public eye.
Ahmadinejad became so controversial during his eight years as president of Iran that, by the time he left office in August, he was widely unpopular within Iran and facing a very real threat of imprisonment. His political opponents in the country's legislature are attempting to prosecute him on corruption charges, and he managed to make enemies with Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. So don't count on a full Ahmadinejad comeback by any stretch, but if he's broadcasting selfies it looks like he'd at least like to try.