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Iran grants scholarship to Iraqi shoe-thrower
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Iran's Deputy Minister of Science, Research and Technology Mohammad Hosseini announced that his country was ready to grant scholarship to the Iraqi shoe-throwing journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi, the official IRNA news agency reported on Tuesday.

"Al-Zaidi can continue his studies in any of the Iranian universities that he chooses," the report quoted Hosseini as saying.

He expressed hope that he (Al-Zaidi) would "be acquitted after the court hearing due to be held (in Iraq) this week."

Al-Zaidi, a reporter of Cairo-based Baghdadia Iraqi television, threw his shoes at the U.S. President George W. Bush at a news conference with the Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki in Baghdadon Dec. 14.

At a sit-in dubbed "The Shoe Odds," which was organized by Basij (volunteer) student organization of universities in front of the former U.S. embassy, the crowd threw their shoes at one person wearing the mask of George W. Bush while standing at the tribune on which the flag of the United States had been attached.

The banner for the ceremony read "The United States is the greatest Satan," which quoted Iran's late Islamic Revolution leader Imam Khomeini.

Lebanon's Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah also received an honorary doctorate in "political science" from an Iranian university in Isfahan on Dec. 14.

Iran is a strong supporter of Iraqi and Lebanese Shiite fighters against the U.S. policy in the region.

(Xinhua News Agency December 31, 2008)

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