Middle East

Hecklers interrupt Iran's President Ahmadinejad speech

The Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, experienced an unusual show of public discontent over his government's handling of the economy.

He was addressing a crowd of several hundred people in the south-western city of Khorramshahr.

But the speech was interrupted by a group shouting "We are unemployed!"

The president - whose public events are carefully controlled - calmly continued and did not seem distracted by the disruption.

Correspondents say Mr Ahmadinejad's speeches are regularly carried live on national TV where crowds more usually respond with slogans such as "God is Greatest" and "Death to America".

Iran's economy is suffering double-digit inflation and the official jobless rate stands at 11 percent. But the actual number of people looking for jobs is believed to be much higher.

President Ahmadinejad was in Khorramshahr to mark the city's liberation from Iraq in 1982, after an 18-month occupation during the Iraq-Iran war.

The town - affluent before the 1979 Islamic Revolution - has over the past decade complained of slow reconstruction and poor living standards.

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