Iran’s Ahmadinejad dodges shoe-throwing attack

Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has become the latest leader to find himself on the receiving end of that popular Middle Eastern method of protest — the thrown shoe.

Like George W Bush before him, Ahmadinejad found himself staring down the sole of a gentleman’s shoe when someone believed to be a recently laid-off textile worker decided to demonstrate his anger during an official ceremony in the north of the country.

Ahmadinejad was speaking in Sari, the capital of the Mazandaran province, when the man local agencies identified only by his first name, Rashid, threw his shoes at the president. It would appear they missed their goal.

According to the Middle Eastern culture, throwing shoes is considered to be one of the strongest ways to show contempt.

Iranian media reported that Rashid, around 45, had been discharged from a textile company after a year of not being paid by his employers.

“One of the participants of the ceremony managed to reach the seats in the front row and threw his shoes at the president while criticising unemployment in the country,” said Tabnak, a conservative news website close to the former revolutionary guards commander, Mohsen Rezaei.

Missed opportunity
Local agencies said the shoes did not hit Ahmadinejad due to “his prompt reaction” but hit the poster behind him. Pictures of the incident were not immediately released.

The shoe-thrower is reported to have been wrestled to the floor by people attending the ceremony who shouted slogans in support of Ahmadinejad. It was not clear whether he was arrested afterwards.

In 2008, Bush was target of an Iraqi jouranlist, Muntadhar al-Zaidi, who threw his shoes at him during a Baghdad press conference. Bush too showed quick reflexes in dodging the missiles.

In 2010, shoes were also thrown at the president of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari, in a conference in Birmingham.

Iran’s English-language state-run newspaper, Tehran Times, in September quoted the head of the country’s statistics centre as putting the unemployment rate at 13.5% in the previous year of the Persian calendar (ending March 20 2011). Many independent economists have questioned official figures and have set the rate much higher. —

We make it make sense

If this story helped you navigate your world, subscribe to the M&G today for just R30 for the first three months

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.”

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Latest stories

Creecy shoots down Karpowership appeal but extends a lifeline to...

The Karpowership proposal lacked proper environmental assessments, according to the minister, with noise impacts specifically noted

Police take bribes from artisanal miners, West Rand residents say

The police say that allegations of complicity by some officers in the service are common and called for people to come forward with evidence

Report: Police action, policy responses to artisanal mining ‘misguided’

The report by the Enhancing Africa’s Response to Transnational Organised Crime found that current enforcement and policy responses, which criminalise artisanal miners, “are misguided, counterproductive and ignore the poverty and socioeconomic drivers behind the phenomenon”

In defence of the manual gearbox

Fewer and fewer cars have them, but there are reasons the purists still like to be in full control of their vehicles
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×