“The president is doing well, in fact, he is doing very well indeed.” Mohammed Ali Ramin leans back, sips his tea, pours in a little milk, and takes another little sip. Then he sets down his glass and folds his hands. The man with reddish-blond hair and a pious full beard enjoys his position as close advisor to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Ramin, 54, who once studied engineering in the German town of Clausthal-Zellerfeld, has been a member of the president’s inner circle of “friends and companions” for years. The university lecturer is said to be an influential figure even among Iran’s religious zealots, and he is proud to have stood beside the late revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini during his exile in Paris. “Anyone who knows my thoughts,” he says knowingly, “also knows what motivates the president.”
And what motivates Ahmadinejad?
Primarily his “boundless love for the people, especially the disenfranchised” and “his commitment to the Islamic principles of truth and justice.” And, of course, “the welfare of the Iranian nation.” Ramin: “Ahmadinejad is the standard-bearer of our people and the entire Islamic world.”