Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is in Cairo today for organisation of Islamic Co-operation. It marks the first trip to Egypt by an Iranian leader since the revolution in 1979.
Ahmadinejad’s visit is controversial for a variety of reasons, and tensions have been high during his visit. According to various reports, the Iranian leader was “attacked” outside a mosque in the city this evening.
The first tweet in English came from Arabic news channel Al Arabiya News:
#BreakingNews: A Syrian has attacked Ahmadinejad in front Al-Hussein mosque in Cairo: reports
— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) February 5, 2013
Various Arabic language sources say the Iranian leader was confronted by a man with a Syrian accent who tried to hit the man with a shoe. Egyptian security forces took the man away and arrested him.
Iran has historically been one of Syria’s closest allies, and the Iranian government is generally seen as supportive of Bashar al-Assad’s ruling Baath party.
As you may well remember from George W. Bush’s visit to Iraq in 2008, showing someone the soles of your shoe is widely considered a grave insult in Arabic culture.
Here’s video of the incident.
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