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Ahmadinejad Says Huge Crowds Are for "Iran's Got Talent"

06/15/2009 01:30 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad paid tribute to the "enthusiasm and energy of the Iranian people" today, claiming that the hundreds of thousands of people jamming the streets of Tehran were hoping to audition for "Iran's Got Talent."

"The hallmark of any free society is its reality shows," Mr. Ahmadinejad said in a nationally televised address. "This phenomenal turnout of Iranian singers, dancers, and banjo players is a tribute to how far we've come."

But Mr. Ahmadinejad's version of events seemed to be at odds with the events on the ground, where few if any of the crowds assembled could be seen carrying Andrew Lloyd Webber sheet music or a banjo.

But the Iranian president was steadfast in his praise of his talented countrymen, adding, "Some of them have shown an amazing talent for shouting and throwing rocks at policemen."

In a sign that the Iranian government is cracking down on dissent, the Interior Ministry banned most Facebook applications today, except for the "What Ayatollah Are You Most Like" game.

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