Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty | August 11, 2010
by Golnaz Esfandiari

In a harangue delivered to Iranian expatriates visiting Tehran last week, Mahmud Ahmadinejad resorted to an odd turn of phrase to describe the futility of Washington’s use of threats and allegations against Iran.

“The bogeyman snatched the boob,” the Iranian president declared.

The expression is one used by mothers in Iran when they are weaning their children off breast milk. But “mameh,” slang for breast in Persian, is not often uttered publicly in a country where words and expressions of even the slightest sexual nature are considered taboo and commonly censored in books and publications.

Ahmadinejad is known for his frequent use of crude language when discussing Western countries and adversaries. But recently the Iranian president has stepped up his use of undiplomatic language, reaching new lows in the process.

Ahmadinejad didn’t stop at the breast reference. Addressing the United States, he alluded to another phrase that describes angry people as having “burning asses.”

“Pour the water where it burns,” he said, “why are you wetting other parts?”

Ahmadinejad appeared to be enjoying himself, as was his audience, which cheered for the Iranian president and responded with laughter.

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