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Iran's Ahmadinejad: Capitalism is dead

At an Islamic economic summit in Turkey, Iran's President Ahmadinejad called for a new world order – a bid, perhaps, to deflect attention from protests at home and nuclear talks abroad.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran gestures during a press conference in Istanbul, Turkey, Monday.

Ibrahim Usta/AP

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Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sought to bolster the Islamic Republic's regional standing at an economic summit for Muslim leaders in Turkey on Monday, by declaring that a "new era is starting" after the "definite defeat" of capitalism.

Analysts say that Iran has had a legitimacy deficit since a disputed presidential election and weeks of violent street battles in June, and is now trying recover lost diplomatic ground.

"They've had a real crisis, of both confidence and appearance in regional fora," says Anoush Ehteshami, a professor of international relations at the University of Durham in England. "And I think Turkey provides a very neat way forward for them, given that in many Arab circles, Ahmadinejad is not very welcome."

Ahmadinejad, one of the few heads of state to attend the committee meeting of the Organization of the Islamic Conference here, swept into Istanbul with his entourage to repay the recent visit to Iran of Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who spoke of the Iranian president as his "friend."

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