TEHRAN, Iran - Iran's spy chief used just two words to respond to White House ridicule of last week's presidential election: "Thank you." His sarcasm was barely hidden. The backfire on Washington was more evident.
The sharp barbs from President Bush were widely seen in Iran as damaging to pro-reform groups because the comments appeared to have boosted turnout among hard-liners in Friday's election — with the result being that an ultraconservative now is in a two-way showdown for the presidency.
"I say to Bush: `Thank you,'" quipped Intelligence Minister Ali Yunesi. "He motivated people to vote in retaliation."
I'll bet he gets fan mail from Karimov in Uzbekistan, too.