President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was forced to duck and cover from a different kind of shoe bomber Wednesday during a visit to Egypt.
An irate Egyptian whipped off his footwear and threw a shoe at the Ahmadinejad, nearly hitting the Iranian president as he was was leaving a mosque in Hussein during his historic visit - marking the first trip to the country by a leader from Tehran in three decades.
Throwing shoes, or more precisely exposing the soles of one’s shoes, is considered among the greatest insults in the Muslim world.
President George W. Bush suffered a similar indignity during a news conference in Iraq in 2008.
Then, Bush was standing alongside Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki when Iraqi TV reporter Muntadar al-Zaidi hopped to his feet, yelled “this is a goodbye kiss from the Iraqi people, dog,” and chucked his shoes at the American president, who ducked away from the welted weapon before security moved in.
Ahmadinejad Wednesday showed no outward sign of ill will after the shoe attack Wednesday.
He called for a strategic alliance with Egypt, going so far as offering to extend the nation a line of credit.
“We must all understand that the only option is to set up this alliance because it is in the interests of the Egyptian and Iranian peoples and other nations of the region,” Mr. Ahmadinejad said, according to Reuters.
The Iranian president also offered to loan the Egyptian government money, Reuters reported.
“I have said previously that we can offer a big credit line to the Egyptian brothers, and many services,” he reportedly said.