While Ahmadinejad's government remains at odds with the U.S. over Iran's nuclear program, some Iranian diplomats seem to be OK with the red, white and blue when it comes to consumer goods. Several aides to Ahmadinejad reportedly have been on a shopping spree around New York City during the United Nations General Assembly this week, according to the New York Daily News.
While Ahmadinejad puts his feet up at the luxurious Warwick Hotel in Manhattan, his inferiors have been shopping for bargains at Payless Shoesource, Costco, Walgreens and Duane Reade. They’ve stocked up on items ranging from wholesale shampoo to a pair of $40 kids' shoes.
There is somewhat of a precedent for otherwise hostile foreign leaders being impressed by the fruits of the world’s largest economy; back in 1959, the U.S.S.R.’s Nikita Kruschev alternately marvelled at and derided America’s offerings.
But the Iranian diplomats' fervor for Pantene Pro-V and Tylenol likely has more to do with the trade sanctions Iran currently faces. While a few American products still find their way into Iran, the country's moves to up its nuclear program have led the U.S. to enforce strict trade sanctions, banning the import of most U.S. goods as well as penalizing Iran's energy, shipping and financial industries.
But despite the sanctions and his outspoken criticism of the U.S., even Ahmadinejad himself is known to partake of a little of the good ol’ “made in the U.S.A.” Earlier this week, an airplane believed to be Ahmadinejad’s was spotted at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, ABC News reports. It’s none other than an American-made Boeing 747.