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Wednesday, December 7, 2022

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WEB EXCLUSIVE: Political columnist praises Iranian president during stop in Houston


Time magazine columnist Joe Klein expressed his support for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Oct. 1, calling him a hero of widows and orphans and gave advice to future journalists to nearly 500 members and guests of the World Affairs Council of Houston at the Westin Oaks.’

Klein recently celebrated his 40-year anniversary as a journalist and has covered nine presidential campaigns. He recently interviewed President Ahmadinejad and made a speech that was titled ’10 Days in Tehran ‘- What I Saw At the Iranian Revolution.’

‘Ahmadinejad performed well during the Iranian presidential debates,’ Klein said. ‘He has done a remarkable thing. He has been directing incredible proportions of the oil money to the poor the last four years.’

‘ ‘Another thing he’s done is that he is the hero of the widows and orphans of the Iran and Iraq War. And the children of the Iran and Iraq War get absolute affirmative action to a university, which may be one of the reasons why all the other kids wearing green (Mir Hossein Mousavi supporters), aren’t as happy as they might have been four years ago.’

He also talked about a recent interview that he had with Ahmadinejad, which is published in the latest edition of TIME. Klein asked his opinion about former Iranian President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani’s famous 2001 al-Quds Day speech, in which he called for an ‘Islamic bomb’ to counter Israel’s nuclear arsenal.

‘We believe that the Zionist regime is too little to be able to pose a threat to Iran,’ Ahmadinejad said in the interview. ‘We feel nuclear weapons have no application whatsoever in this time and age. In my opinion, in our opinion, the atomic bomb is a concept that belongs to the previous century.’

He also gave advice for journalism students.

‘The most important piece of advice I would give you is to not only to concentrate on the stuff you know,’ he said. ‘But try to find something you don’t know, and be curious about and to learn about it and report about it.’

Although newspapers are slowly diminishing, Klein said that students should not be worried; journalism will be here for a while.

‘It will survive my career, but I am getting old,’ he said.

Klein also said that he wouldn’t trade a minute of the last 40 years for any job in the world. Klein will be in Afghanistan later this month; his column appears regularly in TIME.

According to their Web site, the World Affairs Councils of America (WACA) is an association of 90 independent organizations in 39 states, including the District of Columbia, that work to engage and educate Americans on international affairs and foreign policy. All member organizations are non-profit, non-partisan, and maintain an open membership policy.’

WACA of Houston offers invitations to UH students who want to attend speaker events. Their Web site is http://www.wachouston.org.


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