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'England Is A Small Island West Of Africa,' Says Ahmadinejad

By Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL

Apparently England is a small island located west of Africa, according to a speech given by Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad in Hamedan on Wednesday.


"England, a tiny little island west of Africa,* they built boats, they made weapons, they attacked India which is 10 times bigger than England and has a population 10 times bigger than England. They brought it under their control," Ahmadinejad said.

The video clip of him saying this has become an instant hit among Iranians. 

Slip of the tongue? Or was the Iranian president nervous after the "blast" or "minor explosion" that reportedly happened near his convoy? 

There have been conflicting reports about the incident. 

Iran's official news agency has said that a young man who was excited about Ahmadinejad's visit had set off a firecracker before adding that "some foreign media tried to take advantage of this event, in line with their goals." Other sources said that a homemade explosive had gone off near his motorcade.

The semi-official Mehr news agency quoted "witnesses" saying that several "suspects" had been detained in relation to the incident.

Copyright (c) 2010 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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