Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Tuesday was reportedly heard swearing at parliamentarians back in Iran during his visit to the United States this week.
An angry remark, or curse, is believed to have slipped out of Ahmadinejad after he found out a group of mainly oppositional MPs criticized the size of the entourage traveling with him to the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
Around 150 people have joined Ahmadinejad in his U.N. trip this week, with most of them staying at the New York’s luxurious Warwick hotel, where suites can cost up to £1,000 ($1,600) a night, according to a report by The Guardian.
In a video showing Ahmadinejad passing through gates at the U.N., which was shared on social networking sites on Tuesday, the president is believed to have sworn at his opponents when responding to a reporter's questions over the recent criticism.
However, some web users insisted his words were, in fact, not clear, according to the British newspaper.
Earlier on Tuesday, an Iranian MP lashed out at the president, saying the large entourage had traveled there for "a picnic."
"Many of [the people accompanying the president] have only travelled there for a picnic," protested the deputy head of the parliamentary committee on national security, Mansour Haghighatpour, according to the semi-official Ilna news agency.
The news comes at a time when many Iranians are struggling with economic hardship because of sanctions. In recent days, both Iranian parliamentarians and the media have criticized the number of people travelling along with Ahmadinejad to the U.S.
Initially, visas had been requested for some 160 people to be part of the president’s entourage, but the semi-official Fars news agency reported that about 20 applications were turned down, including those for members of his cabinet and two ministers.
Other Iranian sources, however, have put the numbers of those banned from U.S. trip as high as 60.
“It is not the first time Ahmadinejad has come under fire for taking many of his allies to such a high-profile visit. He has faced criticism in previous years for having his staff's families along with him abroad,” writes The Guardian’s Saeed Kamali Dehghan.
Ahmadinejad is expected to address this year’s General Assembly on Wednesday, in what will be his last speech at U.N. as the Iranian president is in his final year in office and cannot run for a third term under Iranian law.