News / USA

New York Street Theater Pokes Fun at Iranian President

This Mahmoud Ahmadinejad impersonator appeared recently near Iran's United Nations mission in New York. He says he seeks regime change in Iran
This Mahmoud Ahmadinejad impersonator appeared recently near Iran's United Nations mission in New York. He says he seeks regime change in Iran

Political protest comes in various forms. It can be as simple as handing out pamphlets or as monumental as mass demonstrations.  It also can appear as satire.  

A Mahmoud Ahmadinejad impersonator appeared recently near Iran's United Nations mission in New York.  He says he seeks regime change in Iran.

“I’d like to see myself and the leaders of my country - not necessarily the people, who are probably in the right place - I’d like to see the leaders do 180, a political 180 [180-degree turn], to go from nuclear enrichment towards nuclear disarmament,”  Ahmadinejad impersonator said.

With another protester claiming that Iran's revolution 32 years ago has gone wrong, this President Ahmadinejad character interrupts the interview to respond to an urgent human rights issue.

“I have another call,” he said.  “Hold on.  Yes?  No, no.  Just shoot them all.  That’s fine.  Shoot ‘em.  Kill ‘em all.  OK.  Yep, thanks man.  Bye.”

It is not easy in New York playing Iran's president, especially when there are two of them. And even more so when one gives the other no respect.  Both insisted they are President Ahmadinejad, though one did concede he is actually a native of Pennsylvania and a member of a theatrical group known as the Fantastic Nobodies.

A private group called Iran 180 hired them.  Group member Marco Greenberg says Iran 180 seeks human rights, not nuclear rights, for Iran.

“We found that one of the only ways to get people to wake up to the threat that this regime represents, both on the human rights front and also the nuclear front, is to use comedy,” he explains. “Is to use street theater, is to make fun; and that resonates with people.”

Greenberg says Iran 180 relies on street theater to get its message out through media reports and even passersby, who tape the performances with smart phones and post the video online.

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