From “Roger Cohen”:http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/02/opinion/02iht-edcohen.html?pagewanted=print in the IHT:
bq.. [Mohsen Mahmoudi, a 34-year-old conservative cleric] told me that when he went to study in Qom, he had no idea what Iran’s nuclear program was. But there were regular classes on it. Scientists were brought in to enlighten the clerics. They were sensitized. The aim was that “We go back to towns and villages and talk in the mosques about the people’s nuclear rights.”
“It’s because Ahmadinjad stood for this that he became a hero to many,” Mahmoudi said. “He equated it with the “nationalization of our oil industry”:http://www.iranchamber.com/history/oil_nationalization/oil_nationalization.php and made it the core symbol of our independence and pride.”
p. He did a pretty good job of it, too. In 2002, vanishingly few Iranians would have been aware of the uranium enrichment program — a closely held secret, despite the suspicions of Western officials. By 2007 or so, it was the beating heart of the nation. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made it the “centerpiece of his re-election campaign”:http://www.armscontrolwonk.com/2255/fmp-comes-alive. So it’s only the more remarkable that “it didn’t work”:http://www.totalwonkerr.net/2050/an-irrelevant-point-about-irans-election.