Posted tagged ‘Ayatollah’

Iraqi Shoe Thrower a Hero in Iraq

December 19, 2008

The Iraqi journalist who hurled his shoes at President George W. Bush has won some hearts in neighboring Iran, where one cleric dubbed the act “the shoe intifada (rebellion).” Iran has opposed the U.S. presence and policies in Iraq and the United States has accused Iran of backing militants in Iraq.

From CNN:

Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati — leading Friday prayers in Tehran — hailed journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi’s now-famous fling last Sunday, when Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki were holding a news conference in Baghdad.

His remarks — reported by Iran’s state-run Islamic Republic News Agency — reflect the support many Middle East people have shown for al-Zaidi, an Iraqi correspondent for Egypt-based Al-Baghdadia TV.

“The shoe intifada in Iraq should not be overlooked easily,” he said. “Well done to the Iraqi journalist for throwing the shoes at the U.S. president.”

Speaking to worshipers at Tehran University, Jannati labeled the shoes “more valuable than crowns, medals and signs” and believes they should be place in an Iraqi museum.

The government of Iran and the United States have been bitter antagonists for decades.

Jannati said the U.S. was trapped in a quagmire in Iraq and didn’t know what to do about it.

“The shoe hurling by the Iraqi journalist had many messages which the world received and the Iraqi people, too, held demonstrations afterwards. People should support the Iraqi journalist,” said Jannati, who believes shoes should be regular props in the anti-U.S. demonstrations in Iran and Iraq.

Iranian President Suffering from Extreme Exhaustion

October 27, 2008

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said this weekend that he is suffering from exhaustion and two allies said he was suffering under the strain of his job. This is a rare disclosure apparently designed to combat rumors the leader of Iran could be more seriously ill than he is leading on.

From the Associated Press:

A parliament member who confirmed Ahmadinejad’s illness accused opponents of using it as an excuse to cast doubt on whether the increasingly unpopular president will run for a second term next year.

“Those who use such a natural issue for psychological warfare will fail” to gain support in public opinion, said Parliament member Mohammad Ismail Kowsari. Since the 1979 Islamic revolution, every Iranian president has been re-elected to a second term, except the first one, Abolhasan Banisadr, who fled the country in 1981.

The months ahead are critical for Ahmadinejad if he wants to try to rebuild his political base and rebut critics who point to his unfulfilled campaign promises, including his pledge to extend Iran’s oil revenues to poorer provinces around the country.