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Jobless Iranian reportedly throws shoes at Ahmadinejad

An Iranian man who was laid off from his job at a textile factory and upset at not having received his unemployment benefits threw his shoes at President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a conservative Iranian news Web site reports.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wasn’t greeted with flowers this time. (Reuters)

The purported shoe-throwing took place Monday in the northern city of Sari, as Ahmadinejad delivered a speech at a ceremony for a partly-completed project. The shoes reportedly missed the president but hit a banner behind him.

The Washington Post’s Thomas Erdbrink reports from Iran that following the incident, Iran workers held up a banner that read, “We haven’t been paid for 17 months.”

A news site critical of the president, Aftab news, reported that the shoe thrower was “beaten by the people” but that police forces “saved” him.

This wasn’t the man’s first time launching a projectile at the president, as he reportedly once threw a tomato at former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami.

Nor is it the first reported attack on Ahmadinejad during a provincial tour. The president’s motorcade was reportedly nearly hit by an explosive in August last year, and a shoe was thrown in March 2009. The regime denied both reports.

Iran officially reports its unemployment rate as 11 percent, but Fox reports that some experts say it is far higher.

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