A cursory examination of Farsi web sites, blogs and chat rooms clearly shows the profound elation of the Iranians from the president Bullinger's introductory remarks about the mullah’s “petty dictator”.
After one day of silence, the Iranian authorities started to show their anger and disbelief over the Columbia event. A summary of the reactions from Tehran shows two main elements; the importance of the damage inflicted on the theocratic rule and the depth of their disillusion about their international status.
The blow to the clerical prestige, which occurred in one of the friendlier venues to the Iranian regime, has a direct and unprecedented impact on the Iranian people's quest for democracy. The Clerical rule and its advocacy groups in US have always tried to project the image of a strong regime, which powerfully pursues its regional domination and nuclear ambitions and their power calls for international respect. This image of power has in turn become an essential tool to terrorize the Iranian people and discourage them to challenge the repression inside the country.
For many Iranian observers inside the country, the humiliation of Ahmadinejad at Columbia University is not seen as an isolated incident resulting from president Bullinger's temper. On the contrary, the Ahmadinejad's indictment is largely considered as a strong sign of change in US and international attitude toward the theocratic rule.
This feeling that the Iranians are no more alone in their combat is clearly felt by student leaders and women activists. The important demonstrations in New York, the unanimous condemnation of Ahmadinejad by US politicians from both parties, the French position against the Iranian nuclear ambitions, the Indian decision to renounce the $25 billion gas deal with Iran and the strong reaction by the West to Elbaradei's pro-Clerical position are among the facts that support the Iranian activists hope for changing winds in the West.
Faced with unprecedented consequences, the Iranian authorities have channeled their response in several directions. The usual demonstrations by Bassiji students and some of the university chancellors (nominated by the Supreme Leader), are accompanied by a large-scale press campaign to represent this state sponsored "demonstration of popular anger" as a show of Iranian pride and nationalism.
In coordination with the Tehran's desperate PR attempts, The well known Iranian regime's lobbyists and advocates have all chipped in to denounce the mistreatment of the mullahs' president in NY. However due to the level of regime's barbarism inside the country and Ahmadinejad's repulsing personality and background, these PR strives and the state-sponsored show of patriotism has been ineffective and ridiculous. Iranians in general have demonstrated a deep feeling of appreciation toward the Columbia president.
President Bullinger's courage should serve as an example of effective policy in dealing with Mullahs. Mullahs' main enemy is the Iranian people. They should be supported in their combats. This support should be public, strong, unequivocal and effective.