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Ali Larijani faces a rain of shoes.

The war between President Mahmud Ahmadi-nejad and Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani took on a new nastiness Sunday as about 100 Ahmadi-nejad loyalists tossed shoes at Larijani and forced him to abandon a speech.

It was a very unusual act of aggression, one rarely seen in Iranian culture.

Larijani was speaking at a religious site in Qom, the city he represents in the Majlis, on the occasion of the 34th anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution.

Shortly after starting his speech, a group of people began chanting slogans against him, according to the Iranian Labor News Agency (ILNA).

It said Larijani spoke for two to three minutes more, but then a crowd of about 100 Ahmadi-nejad supporters began tossing shoes and matchbox-sized clay tablets, used in prayer by some Shiites, at Larijani.

Throwing shoes is a serious insult in the Islamic and has taken on added color since an Iraqi threw two shows at President George W. Bush in 2008.

Larijani tried to quiet the crowd, saying, "We shouldn't compromise this great celebration with such actions," according to the Mehr news agency.

ILNA said some people at the ceremony tried to defend Larijani from the objects, but the crowd began moving in the direction of the speaker and he was quickly led away.

Icana, the Majlis news agency, said "a few" people had tried to "create chaos" by Larijani. Icana did not mention shoes.

The Fars news agency did not mention the show throwing incident in Qom. Instead, it carried a brief report saying an Iraqi in London had thrown two shoes Sunday at Paul Bremer, the US administrator in Iraq after the 2003 US invasion, saying they were a message "from Saddam Hussein."

The feud between Larijani and Ahmadi-nejad broke into the open last week when the president used a speech in the Majlis to accuse Larijani's family of corruption. Larijani responded with less than kind words.

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Publication:Iran Times International (Washington, DC)
Date:Feb 15, 2013
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