Ahmadinejad criticizes Paul the octopus

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad claims Paul the octopus, who correctly guessed the outcomes of eight matches of the World Cup, is a sign of decay of Western culture.

Ahmadinejad said in a speech at a youth festival in Tehran, "Those who believe in this type of thing cannot be the leaders of the global nations that aspire, like Iran, to human perfection, basing themselves in the love of all sacred values."

Paul the octopus President Ahmadinejad
Ahmadinejad accuses the octopus of spreading "western propaganda and superstition."
Image: Jeff Swicord / José Cruz.

"We are after constructing Iran, but this does not mean viewing the matter from nationalist angle and singling out the Iranian race. Today the name of Iran is synonymous with prestige, justice seeking, monotheism, anti-despotism, and the entire blessed values that are dear for the world nations," he continued.

An Irish journalist, Rory Fitzgerald, wrote a satirical piece in response to the president's remarks. "A visibly shaken Paul spoke out earlier today saying: 'As an octopus, I can claim some objectivity in my view [of] human affairs,' " Fitzgerald wrote.

Paul correctly predicted the outcome of Germany's seven matches and picked Spain over the Netherlands for the World Cup final. The mollusk currently lives in a tank at the Oberhausen Sea Life Centre in Germany.