So what are the plans for outgoing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad when he leaves office next week?
Iranian media report that he’s opening a university in Tehran called “Iranians University,” a name the London-based Middle East publication Asharq Al-Awsat calls “an unusual and patriotic name for a higher education institution.”
Notably, the institute will teach nuclear science as well as information technology, nanotechnology and aerospace engineering.
In his role as president, Ahmadinejad was a strong supporter of the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program, which he insisted was peaceful in nature. It’s unknown if Ahmadinejad plans to use the new educational platform to inculcate to the next generation of scientists his approach to Iran’s nuclear program, which Western countries believed was aiming toward the construction of nuclear weapons.
Ahmadinejad holds a Ph.D in engineering.
The Associated Press quoted tasnimnews.com, a conservative Iranian website, which reported Saturday that Ahmadinejad had obtained a license from the Supreme Cultural Revolution Council to open the private university.
Asharq Al-Awsat reported, “It is understood that Ahmadinejad had submitted an application to launch the university, and that the council decided to grant the license out of respect for Ahmadinejad’s unwavering efforts and dedication in his role as head of the council over the past eight years.”
Ahmadinejad had a falling out with his conservative allies and has been sidelined since the election last month of Muslim cleric Hassan Rouhani as the new president, according to the Associated Press, but "still enjoys a significant political base, with loyalists especially concentrated in the poorer parts of the country.”
A member of the council that green-lit Ahmadinejad’s university, Mohammad-Hossein Yadegari, told the state-run Mehr news agency that Ahmadinejad had said he “wanted to have scientific activity and work in educating,” according to Bloomberg News.
Bloomberg reports that Ahmadinejad told reporters earlier this month that he “will continue serving” the Islamic Republic even after he is no longer president.
According to Asharq Al-Awsat, Iranian media have reported that Ahmadinejad has created a new department in the president’s office called the “Office of Former Presidents” in which the former president would maintain a presence even after he leaves office. Rouhani’s people are apparently denying reports of the new office.
As TheBlaze reported earlier this month, Ahmadinejad called his denial of the Holocaust one of his greatest achievements while president.
Ahmadinejad also once had an audience with American students. Columbia University in New York faced controversy when it invited Ahmadinejad to give a speech on campus in 2007. His assertion during the speech that there are no homosexuals in Iran elicited ridicule among members of the audience who erupted in loud laughs and boos.