Protests outside Iranian embassy

Scores of Egyptians and Syrians protested outside the Iranian Embassy in the capital on Wednesday over President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's historic visit.

Some claimed the first state visit by an Iranian leader since Iran's Islamic Revolution in 1979 marked the beginnings of Shia indoctrination across the Arab region.

“The Muslim Brotherhood and President Mohamed Morsy should not have met with him,” said Yehia al-Sherbiny, the coordinator of the Muslim Rebels Movement, who also threatened to use any means to prevent Shia ideologies from taking over.

Others were angered over Ahmadinejad's support of embattled President Bashar al-Assad. Syrian protester Ezz Eddin Khalil said Morsy's welcome of Ahmadinejad meant he also supported Assad's slaughter of the Syrian people.

Ahmadinejad was in Cairo on Tuesday and Wednesday to attend the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Summit. He also met with Egyptian religious figures at Al-Azhar Tuesday, including Grand Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayyeb, which further angered protesters.

Meanwhile, Presidential Spokesperson Yasser Ali said on Wednesday that renewing ties with Iran depends on the country's continued support of Syria's Assad.

“Everyone knows Iran's influence in Syria,” said Ali during a press conference on the sidelines of the Islamic Summit.

On Tuesday, Turkish news agency Anadolu reported that a man was arrested trying to attack Ahmadinejad as he left Al-Hussein Mosque in Cairo.

The agency said the attacker had a Syrian accent and was allegedly angered by Iran's backing of Assad.

The Iranian Students' New Agency said officials had downplayed the incident.

Ahmadinejad said  "the incident is not important … The brotherhood and unity between Iran and Egypt is in the interest of the two countries," in an interview Tuesday night.

Also on Tuesday the agency quoted Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ramin Mehmanparast as saying, "What is important to us is the attitude of Egyptian officials and that their nation respects the Islamic Republic as a major power."

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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