Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says he wants to attend the upcoming Summer Olympics to support his nation's athletes but is being denied entry to Britain.
"I would like to be next to our young athletes at the 2012 Olympics, but the host has a problem with this," Ahmadinejad told Iranian athletes at a recent reception. "The enemies do not want our athletes to win medals, but our young people shall be present at the Olympic Games and, like Arash, give new reasons to take pride in Islamic Iran."
Arash is an Iranian mythical hero who shot an arrow that determined the nation's borders.
The Iranian president didn't say whether he had formally requested entry to Britain or whether he was just assuming. Maybe he's confused and thought the Olympics were being held in the United Nations, not the United Kingdom. The UN loves giving him a forum.
Shame on you, Britain. You get mad when Argentina makes the Olympics about politics, then do the same to Ahmadinejad? What does a dictator have to do to watch some live weightlifting? He'd stay home, but state television focuses way too much on human interest stories. All Mahmoud wants to do is take a stroll around the Olympic Village, maybe pop into McDonald's for a Big Mac, trade some pins with foreigners and possibly scalp some tickets to the 100-meter final. There's no political agenda relating to Britain's closing of its embassy in Tehran or the continued sanctions for Iran's nuclear program. He's in it for the love of sports!
Ahmadinejad didn't attend the Beijing Olympics but traveled to China for the Opening Ceremony of the Paralympic Games.