By Associated Press Writer
updated 5/24/2010 4:55:28 AM ET 2010-05-24T08:55:28

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's speech in a southern port town has been marred by shouts from disenchanted Iranians demanding jobs.

Ahmadinejad on Monday addressed hundreds gathered in Khorramshahr — about 625 miles  southwest of Tehran — when scores from the crowd interrupted his speech with shouts: "We are unemployed!"

The rare protest is unusual in Iran, where Ahmadinejad's public events are carefully controlled. But public discontent has been rising over Iran's deteriorating economy.

Iran is wrestling with 25 percent unemployment and rising inflation. It also faces possible new U.N. sanctions over its controversial nuclear program that the West fears is geared toward making atomic weapons. Tehran denies the charge.

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