Not So Big Fat Persian wedding

Ahmadinejad's son Mahdi gets married, unceremoniously


Not So Big Fat Persian wedding
by Meir Javedanfar

We all know that Iran's president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is an extremist politician. He knows it, and is in fact proud of it. He sees radical conservatism as part of his character, and speaking his mind, no matter who he offends, as part of his job. This is why Ahmadinejad has repeatedly denied the Holocaust, despite the fact that it offended the world's Jewish population. This is also why he cast doubts on the US version of September 11, despite the fact that many Iranians sent messages of condolence to American people on that sad occasion, as means of sympathizing with them in their hour of pain.

What we don't know is that the same Ahmadinejad prides himself on being a good father. This is something he talked about during his electioneering campaign prior to the 2005 presidential race. On a number of occasions he talked about his daughter, who is an electrical engineer, his son Mahdi who is a Civil Engineer (like his father), and his younger son Alireza, who is an internet addict, and a mechanical engineering student.

On 15th of April, the proud father had a good reason to celebrate as Mahdi, his oldest son and second child got married in the holy city of Mashhad. It was the second marriage in the Ahmadinejad family. The first was that of his daughter who got married in August 2006. That time Ahmadinejad barely made the wedding, as he was on a trip to Malaysia until hours before.

The bride, whose first name wasn't mentioned in the Iranian press, is the daughter of Esfandiar Rahim Mashai, the head of Iran's Tourism and Cultural Heritage Organization, and one of Ahmadinejad's deputies.

Mr Mashai wanted the ceremony to be held in a traditional wedding hall with the usual festivities. However, according to Farda news, Ahmadinejad refused. Being a believer in the concept of "Sadeh Zisti", meaning ‘simple living', Ahmadinejad insisted on a very basic religious ceremony. All in all, 45 guests were invited. 25 women and 20 men. In accordance to strict Islamic tradition, men and women were separated. The ladies were placed in Mr Mashai's house, while the men were moved to his neighbour's house.

If the pictures from the wedding are to be believed, then one has to sincerely hope for the bride's sake that she embraced these Spartan choices, and were not forced out of her dream wedding by a dictatorial father-in-law.

A banana, orange, apple, and a piece cake as food for the entire evening, without any dinner, is not the typical way many Iranian couples like to celebrate their special night. Iranian weddings, even those belonging to the poor are usually big blowouts where guests are treated with plenty of food. In some parts of Iran, such as the Lorestan province, weddings can even last up to a week, with lunch and dinner served to all guests.

Despite its simplicity, the wedding was not completely uneventful.

Two days before the event, the 51-year-old Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had a sudden, noticeable drop in his blood pressure. Taking no chances, his entourage summoned medics, who told him to cut down on his workload.

Meanwhile, the day after the wedding, the bride's father, Esfandiar Rahim Mashai a high-profile official in the city of Mashhad, had troubles of his own - a political demonstration.

In what must have been an embarrassing gesture, religious officials, and even groups who support Ahmadinejad called for his resignation. The saga started with a complaint from the city's Friday prayers Imam who had earlier said that Mashai had done very little to improve the tourism infrastructure of Mashhad. As part of his reply, which infuriated the demonstrators, Mashai had said to the Imam that he will be judged by the lord on judgement day, irrelevant of whether he is a clergy or not. So far, despite the demonstrator's calls, the father of the bride has still not resigned.

This is not the first time that calls have been made for Meshai's resignation. In 2006, he was part of an Iranian tourism delegation to Turkey, which was filmed in a ceremony where alcoholic drinks were served, while a scantly clad dancer was dancing in the middle of the room. While calling it "an enemy plot", Meshai told a reporter that he had no plans to resign, as his positions were "the same as the president", and that he could best serve his boss by staying in his job.

Who knows? Maybe part of the reason why Ahmadinejad keeps protecting Meshai is that, despite his conservative image, he enjoys the colorful tales of his trip to Turkey, and the entertainment he received there. Either that, or Ahmadinejad thinks that he is good at his job. Or maybe, you just don't mess around when it comes to the Ahmadinejad family.

Meir Javedanfar is the co-author with Yossi Melman of The Nuclear Sphinx of Tehran - Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the State of Iran. He runs Middle East Economic and Political Analysis (MEEPAS). This article originally appeared in PJM Media.


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واسه من مهم

Icia (not verified)

واسه من مهم نیست احمدی نژاد یا هر سیاستمدار دیگه تو زندگی شخصی اش چیکار میکنه. میخواد زیاد خرج کنه میخواد کم.
اینها به ملت ربطی نداره. سیاستمداران باید بتونند کاری واسه ملت بکنند. باید وظیفه خودشون روخوب انجام بدهند. ...

مردم ایران براشون فرقی نمی کنه که پسر آقای رئیس جمهور کت شلواردامادیشو از مزون وساچی خریده یاازفروشگاهی بی نام ونشان تو ناصر خسرو!

برای مردم ایران مهم نیست که به میهمانان و مدعوین تو شب عروسی پسر آقای احمدی نژاد یه جور غذا داده شده یا نشده

برای مردم ایران سادگی یا تجمل مراسم جشن عروسی این حضرات چندان اهمیت نداره

برای مردم ایران این اهمیت داره که 3 سال پیش به اونها قول داده شده پول نفت سر سفره هاشون میاد ولی این پولا سر از ... درآورد

برای مردم ایران مهم که از 3 سال پیش تا حالا قیمت زمین و مسکن و اجاره خونه 150 تا
200 برابر شده

برای مردم ایران مهم که باید سبزی خوردن
ساده و گوجه فرنگی پیش پا افتاده رو کیلوئی 700 تا 1000(سبزی)و 1700 تا 2400 تومان تهیه کنند!

برای مردم ایران مهم که چرا در حالیکه خیابانهای تهران ودیگر شهرها پر از چاله و دست اندازه باید

برای مردم ایران مهم که بدونند به چه علت
رئیس جمهور اونا در یک کشور عربی زیر نقشه خلیج عربی عکس یادگاری می گیره!؟


Hahaahahahaha Ahmadinejad's

by Anony (not verified) on

Hahaahahahaha Ahmadinejad's mother a converted Jew. It's so funny how the media cleverly takes people with BIG names as their own. "Ahmadinejad's getting a lot of attention, hmmmmm... let's tell the world his mother was a jew! Eureka!!!" I don't buy it, even if she was a Jewish conver, then she sure as hell wasn't a Zionist. BIG difference. //


I like him because he does

by Darvaze doolabi (not verified) on

I like him because he does what he says.....not like hypocrites!


Occupiers have no shame.

by nader11 (not verified) on

Occupiers have no shame.


MOSSAD (Meir) must be desperate! What's your point?

by gol-dust on

Feel sorry for israel which cannot win easily aginst Iran! So out of desperation you are trying to VASLEH BEH OON BECHASBOONI! Sex scandal and ahmadi..? good try, but it wont work! you think we are so stupid that we dont know what you are up to? I dont care for ahmadi, but i care much less for you and your bosses in israel! As an israeli, why are you always writing about iran? why is that so much of your concern who his son married to or why he didnt spend too much money? well may be he is genetically related to one of those cheap israelis! He is very small and smart, with a long nose after all! Are u sure you are not related? iIsrael coudn't buy him? too bad! 


hamatoon divane hastin...

by Ano (not verified) on

hamatoon divane hastin...


He is an honest, non pretentious human being more than I can

by hanna (not verified) on

say about the leaders of any other country, and especially Israel.

Mr. Meir Javedanfar, you just had an article published in the U.K. Telegraph; Titled:
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: little servant with big ambitions

Furthermore the article states:

"Yossi Melman and Meir Javedanfar's Nuclear Sphinx - written from outside Iran by two Israelis - has as many advantages as faults.

As a biography, it is ill-researched and partial, but its sections on Iranian-Israeli interaction (from the Shah's days of military and intelligence co-operation, to today's slow-burn war) are brilliantly detailed and informed, and it portrays finely the concerns of Iran's most nervous neighbour."


If you consider yourself Israeli as opposed to Iranian then we obviously understand why you are tearing yourself apart to further provide misleading info on Ahmadinejad and demonize him by repeating lies that he never said about Israel.

I am also shocked that the article states that the information is ill-researched, biased however it goes on an publishes it. It says much about the Telegraph as it does about the authors who wrote the article; but then what should we expect from those who are in the business of disinforming the public.

As for me, I am happy that Ahmadinejad is who he is, he doesn't need the pomp and glory like other leaders, he is honest,not corruptable and can't be bought! Something I can't say about many leaders of the world including yours.

Chow, Chow


considering Ahmadi Nejad's mother was a converted JEW

by Miz-abdol-azim khaneh Ghareeb (not verified) on

And the entire family was Jewish at some point, Ahamdi Nejad would be the last person to conflict any damage to Israel's interest and the author needs to put his Jewish zeal aside.

The most effective weapon that the Anglo-Americans used in Iran was to install a weak presiden who also has Jewish heritage. This will not only makes an agent for Israel, yet it assures to make Iran, one of the richest nations on earth (Nat. Resources) to become the praya and rouge state, so that the worls suck the blood out of that poor nation.

Ahmadi Nejad is not against the Jews, he is a jew.

So, you did not need to place a link to the bullshits that he uttered.


Bless his heart!!

by Richardson (not verified) on

He is so humble and simple man. I wish all those people who hold power in this world would try to learn and follow his principles. May God bless him.