"He's more popular now than a year ago. He's on the rise," said Nasser Hadian-Jazy, a professor of political science at Tehran University. "I guess he has a 70% approval rating right now.
Yes, to the Nibelungs of the lefty underworld, one poli sci professor's guess merits headlines. "Western diplomats" are also quoted, which could be two Third Secretaries in any anti-American Eurotrash embassy.
Of course, the Guardian vaunts Robert Fisk, the eponymous source for "fisking," bloggerel for totally unfounded horse manure, as its chief correspondent, so third-rate substandard ideological cant is its default mode.