Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Targeted in Shoe Toss
Apparently the shoe is now on the other foot, so to speak. First it was former President George W. Bush who was the intended target of a shoe tossed in protest by an angry Iraqi journalist protesting the U.S.-led invasion in 2008. And now a 45-year-old Iranian textile worker, who has been out of work for a year and disgruntled about receiving no unemployment benefits, threw his shoe in protest yesterday at President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, according to an Iranian website.
Like the Bush protester, the Iranian missed his intended target, reportedly striking a banner behind the president instead. The website, via a report on CNN.com, said the incident occurred in the northern city of Sari during a memorial ceremony for a deceased former oil minister. Attendees beat the man until security forces intervened, the site reported. We can only wonder what the security forces did to the man once taken into custody?
Making matters worse, this man is a repeat offender: The Iranian website said the Sari resident was once jailed for throwing eggs and tomatoes at former President Mohammad Khatami. And yet he lived to throw a shoe? Perhaps dictators just aren’t what they used to be?
Or maybe it’s exactly what one throws at the Iranian president in disgust that qualifies as a no-no? While throwing shoes is a sign of profound disrespect in Arab countries, it not considered so in Iran. Who knew?