In another part of the same video, he claimed that the 2011 attack on the British Embassy in Tehran had taken place with Britain’s knowledge and with the cooperation of some elements within Iran.
But Ahmadinejad’s political show did not end there. Being an expert in public relations, the former president and his allies resorted to the age-old tactic of taking refuge in a holy shrine by staging a sit-in at the Shah Abdol-Azim shrine in southern Tehran.
This centuries-old form of protest dates to the Qajar era (1799-1925) and was especially used by the clergy during the time of Persian King Naser al-Din Shah Qajar (1848-1896) to defend their rights and force the powers that be to provide incentives to religious sites. Baghaei began his sit-in Nov. 15, with Ahmadinejad and Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, the former president’s chief of staff, joining the day after.
But what was Ahmadinejad’s goal with this political hoopla? A look at his history in politics shows that he is a man who obtains significance by attacking bigger and more powerful political figures. For example, during the second administration (1993-97) of President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Ahmadinejad served as one of Rafsanjani’s governors. He even appeared on the same electoral list as Rafsanjani in the February 2000 parliamentary elections.
However, over time Ahmadinejad realized that to succeed, he needed to attack Rafsanjani. Thus, in the 2005 and especially 2009 presidential elections, he tried to achieve this goal by targeting Rafsanjani and his children. By making accusations of nepotism and corruption during the presidential debates in 2009, Ahmadinejad portrayed himself as an innocent yet courageous individual who was able to challenge Rafsanjani for the first time.