Someone Threw a Shoe at Ahmadinejad on His Not-So-Good Trip to Cairo

Dashiell Bennett

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's visit to Egypt has not gone so well, as he was lectured by a Sunni Cleric, mobbed by aggressive glad-handers, and had someone else throw a shoe at him.

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There were conflicting reports about who threw the offending footwear, as a local Turkish outlet originally stated that he was "physically assaulted" by an angry Syrian citizen. Then Luke Russert said that NBC had a report of four Sunni Salafist men being arrested for the attack. Finally, a video surfaced that showed a shoe thrower not really coming that close to Ahmadinejad. It's not quite the Iraqi journalist who launched two shoes at President George W. Bush at a press conference four years ago, but, really, everyone in this shot is probably closer than anyone should be able to get in public to a world leader with a lot of enemies:

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Ahmadinejad was leaving a historic mosque in Cairo, where earlier he and Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi met with Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, who runs the 1,000-year-old "seat of religious teaching." According to Reuters, Al-Tayeb, who is Sunni Muslim, "scolded" the head of the Shiite country for interfering in other Arab states and rejected Iran's attempt to influence matters in Sunni-majority nations.

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The trip has not been a good look for Morsi, either, who picked an odd time to play to host to Ahmadinejad and Iran. As Max Fisher at The Washington Post points out, secularists and liberals are already furious with Morsi for allowing his religious Muslim Brotherhood party to take over the revolution, while the mostly Sunni and Salafist parties are appalled at the idea of buddying up to Iran. With protesters spending most of the last two weeks camped outside his house with Molotov cocktails, inviting the most hated guy in the neighborhood to stop by may not have been Morsi's best political move.