High oil prices. Populism is a winning political strategy when you have lots of windfall oil profits to spend on publicity stunts.
Speaking of publicity stunts, the People's Cube reports that the Iranian President is really just a spoof inspired by the success of Sacha Baron-Cohen's "Borat" character:
Looking back, we can only laugh at our unblinking acceptance of Ahmadinejad, an "Islamist hard-liner" dressed like a Turkish used car salesman, who called to wipe Israel off the map or move it to Alaska, demanded a manual recount of Holocaust victims, and banned all Western music. His retractions were even more bizarre: "CNN make lie! I send squeegees to help Israel, not 'Wipe off Israel!' Who translated, I kill him!"