February 4, 2012
More than 30 years after another American president allowed a fallen Persian Gulf dictator to enter the U.S., President Barack Obama has allowed the ex-ruler of Yemen to visit New York City for medical reasons, provoking protests from those opposed to the decision.
President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who ruled Yemen for 21 years until he resigned under pressure in November 2011, reportedly arrived in Manhattan last month to receive treatment for wounds sustained in an assassination attempt last June.
Having learned of his whereabouts, activists began protesting this week outside the Ritz-Carlton hotel and demanding that Saleh be kicked out of the country.
In October 1979, President Jimmy Carter permitted the deposed Shah of Iran to receive medical care at an American hospital. Iranians responded to the decision by storming the U.S. embassy in Tehran and taking 52 Americans hostage for 444 days.