President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran has attacked Paul the psychic octopus, claiming that he represents a sign of "Western decadence and decay."
The Iranian president referred to the “oracle” octopus during a speech he gave in Tehran at the weekend.
According to the Daily Telegraph, Ahmadinejad referred to Paul several times during his speech, accusing the octopus of spreading Western propaganda and superstition: “Those who believe in this type of thing cannot be the leaders of the global nations that aspire, like Iran, to human perfection, basing themselves in the love of all sacred values.”
Paul, a common octopus (Octopus vulgaris), lives at the Oberhausen Sea Life Centre, in Germany, although he is believed to have hatched at the Weymouth Sea Life Centre, in the UK, in January 2008. His career as an oracle is said to have begun during the UEFA football championships in 2008.
He achieved world-wide recognition after accurately predicting eight consecutive World Cup match results, including Spain’s 1–0 win against the Netherlands in the final.
From 2008 to 2010, Paul worked as a Psychic Football Pundit at the Oberhausen Sea Life Centre, where he lives. Shortly after the World Cup ended, it was announced that he would be retiring as an oracle. Interest in him has continued unabated, however Russian bookmaker’s, Liga Stavok, have offered 100,000 Euros ($129,800) for the cephalopod, and a Chinese company is due to release a feature film about him in August.