Wednesday 21 March 2018

Protesters hurl shoes at Iran leader

Protesters hurled shoes and eggs at the motorcade of Hassan Rouhani yesterday as the Iranian president arrived home to a mixed reception from a landmark visit to the UN, which concluded with a phone call with Barack Obama.

Hardliners opposed to any contact with Washington made their objections clear outside Tehran's Mehrabad airport, as several dozen protesters chanted "Death to America" and tried to block Mr Rouhani's progress, banging on the side of his vehicle.

The semi-official Mehr news agency reported that at least one demonstrator hurled a shoe – a common gesture of contempt in the Middle East – in the direction of Mr Rouhani as he stood up through his vehicle's sunroof.

Other witnesses said eggs and stones were thrown at his limousine.

"Dialogue with Satan is not 'hope and prudence'," some chanted, using a Rouhani slogan from the June election.

His supporters, however, were present in greater numbers and greeted his return from New York with cheers and placards thanking him for seeking peace instead of confrontation. One banner read: "Yes to peace, no to war."

Mr Rouhani and the US president spoke for 15 minutes on Friday afternoon.

White House officials said the tone was "cordial", even ending with the Iranian president saying a "have a nice day".

© Telegraph

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