Iran’s Ahmadinejad faces diplomatic isolation

Reporting from Cairo and Beirut — Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad can in one instant appear the diplomatic equivalent of damaged goods and in the next a confident leader whose bellicose speeches leave the West wondering how to deal with him and his perplexing nation now that he’s won a much-disputed reelection. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev publicly greeted Ahmadinejad at a recent meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, but did not grant him a private meeting as he had the leaders of Pakistan and Afghanistan. In Belarus, the Iranian leader was met not by President Alexander Lukashenko, but by the speaker of the upper house of parliament. A similar pattern has emerged in the Middle East, where Arab regimes have long been wary of Iran’s ambitions. Authorities in Jordan withdrew licenses for two Iranian news organizations this week and the sultan of Oman reportedly canceled a trip to Tehran following the unrest after Iran’s June 12 election.


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