Iranians rush Ahmadinejad’s car to protest poverty

YouTube clip shows remarkable act of civil disobedience in Bandar-Abbas

Ilan Ben Zion, a reporter at the Associated Press, is a former news editor at The Times of Israel.

A female protester confronts Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Bandar-Abbas. (photo credit: Channel 2 screen capture)
A female protester confronts Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Bandar-Abbas. (photo credit: Channel 2 screen capture)

In an extraordinary act of civil dissent, captured in a clip uploaded on YouTube, Iranian citizens in the southern city of Bandar-Abbas rushed into the path of a car carrying Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on a visit to the city and confronted him to complain about their economic plight.

In the footage, an elderly man is shown at the side of the car, shouting “I’m hungry, I’m hungry,” as Ahmadinejad’s panicked bodyguards try to drown him out. The president had been waving to the crowds, standing in the car’s sunroof.

Then, a young black-clad woman clambers aboard the president’s vehicle, and sits down on the roof — inches from him. She complains to him about economic hardships; he listens, then apparently tells her to move on, and she disappears behind him.

The footage, taken when Ahmadinejad visited the city last week, was uploaded to YouTube this week. The item was the first story on Israel’s most-watched news broadcast, Channel 2 News, on Tuesday night.

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Israel has been leading international demands for crippling economic pressure to force the Iranian regime to abandon its nuclear program. Earlier Tuesday, Israel’s Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Saturday’s P5+1 talks with Iran were a waste of “precious time” and that Israel had made no promises to the US not to attack Iran while the talks, set to resume in Baghdad on May 23, continue.

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