Istanbul, Turkey - Iran's President
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sought to bolster the Islamic Republic's regional
standing at an economic summit for Muslim leaders in Turkey on Monday,
by declaring that a "new era is starting" after the "definite defeat"
Analysts say that Iran has had a legitimacy deficit since a disputed presidential election and weeks of violent street battles
in June, and is now trying recover lost diplomatic ground.
had a real crisis, of both confidence and appearance in regional fora,"
says Anoush Ehteshami, a professor of international relations at the
University of Durham in England. "And I think Turkey provides a very
neat way forward for them, given that in many Arab circles, Ahmadinejad
is not very welcome."
Ahmadinejad, one of the few heads of state to
attend the committee meeting of the Organization of the Islamic
Conference here, swept into Istanbul with his entourage to repay the
recent visit to Iran of Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan,
who spoke of the Iranian president as his "friend."
Iran is under pressure from the West to agree to
a UN-brokered nuclear swap deal for enriched uranium, though Tehran has
sent mixed signals about whether it will accept. But more important for
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