Omid, the hopeful satellite, went into orbit somewhere over Iran on Monday bringing the nation into the space age and renewing fears among Western analysts of Iran's nuclear potential. President Ahmadinejad personally oversaw the launch which is reportedly for scientific and research purposes only. (Catch the blast-off on Iranian State Television here.)
The New York Times carried the story in The Lede but the Iranian leader's blog, called "personal memos," was notably quiet about the event. Understandably, Ahmadinejad has had a bad case of writer's block lately and confessed in November:
"In the Name of Almighty God-the All-Knowing, the Most Lovingly Compassionate, since my last post on the blog, a few months have passed. But this doesn't mean that I have not been keeping my promise of spending fifteen minutes per week on it. As a matter of fact, I have spent more than the allocated time on the blog. The magnitude of the reception and acclamation from the viewers was beyond expectations. So I had to decide how to spend the limited time that I have allocated for the blog; should I write new notes or respect those viewers who kindly and generously have shared their thoughts and opinions with me and sent messages and read their numerous received messages."
These questions plague us all indeed. While Mr. Ahmadinejad works on his blog concept, how can we interpret his atmospheric advances? Here's Johns Hopkins Iran expert Azar Nafisi on how to decode Iran.