Former president of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad posted a video on Twitter Monday wishing followers a Merry Christmas.
Ahmadinejad, who once declared, “I will stop Christianity in this country” while he was the president and whose tenure was characterized by the brutal repression of pro-democracy dissidents, also wished his Twitter followers a happy new year.
Iran, an Islamic theocracy, severely curbs the practice of faiths other than Shiite Islam. The Christian minority present in Iran is believed to number at around 350,000 and often suffers legal repercussions for not practicing the regime’s faith.
“I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, may 2019 be full of happiness, prosperity, and peace for everybody,” Ahmadinejad said. “Jesus loved everyone and wanted us to love all. God Bless.”
The full video can be watched below:
I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year. May, 2019 be full of happiness, prosperity, and peace for everybody. Jesus loved everyone and wanted us to love all. God Bless pic.twitter.com/ILUrmJ5cAg
— Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (@Ahmadinejad1956) December 24, 2018
Breitbart News reporter Dylan Gwinn summarized Ahmadinejad’s background stating in a recent article:
Ahmadinejad served as Iran’s president from 2005-2013. During that time he ruthlessly suppressed all political opposition. Most notably in 2009, when he oversaw the murder and incarceration of thousands who protested his contested reelection.
Ahmadinejad presided over Iran as its president, subservient to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, during the Green Movement, a democratic revolt demanding free and fair elections in the country. Iran’s police forces responded to the protests with violence, killing at least 110 people and arresting the mostly young protesters for peacefully assembling.
CNN has also archived some of the political highlights of Ahmadinejad’s career, which include quotes and actions such as:
- October 26, 2005 — During a speech at the World Without Zionism conference in Tehran, he states that “Israel must be wiped off the map.”
- December 14, 2005 — Speaking to thousands of people in the Iranian city of Zahedan, Ahmadinejad states, “Today, [Europeans] have created a myth in the name of Holocaust and consider it to be above God, religion, and the prophets.”
- April 11, 2006 — Announces that Iran has produced low-grade enriched uranium that can be used for nuclear power. (When elected he vowed to restart Iran’s nuclear program.)
- May 2011 — Ahmadinejad accuses Western countries of using special equipment to cause a drought in Iran.
Ahmadinejad appears to have grown fond of Twitter recently, using the platform to tweet his support of NFL player Colin Kaepernick. The tweet can be seen below:
— Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (@Ahmadinejad1956) September 3, 2018