Tehran, Jan 4 (ANI): Iran has denied a WikiLeaks report that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was slapped by the chief of the country's Revolutionary Guards in January last year.
During an interview with Iran's Fars news agency, the Guard spokesman, Ramezan Sharif, reportedly claimed that the publication of the cable was part of a plot by the BBC to undermine support for Iran's government, prompted by demonstrations in favour of the regime.
According to The New York Times, the news agency failed to point out that the leaked cables were published by Der Spiegel, not the BBC.
According to the cables revealed by 'Wikileaks', a confidential Iranian source who spoke to an American diplomat in a neighbouring country, had said that the incident took place during a meeting of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) just two weeks after several protesters were killed at a protest in Tehran.
The source reportedly told an American diplomat in Azerbaijan that Ahmadinejad was slapped by Mohammad Ali Jafari, the commander in chief of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, for suggesting that perhaps restrictions on the press should be relaxed.
Ahmedinejad reportedly claimed that "people feel suffocated," and mused that to defuse the situation it may be necessary to allow more personal and social freedoms, including more freedom of the press. However, this irritated Jafari, who exclaimed, "You are wrong! (In fact) it is you who created this mess! And now you say give more freedom to the press?!"
Jafarli then slapped Ahmedinejad in the face, causing anuproar and an immediate call for a break in the meeting, which was never resumed, the source added.
The cables further quoted the source as saying that SNSC did not meet again for another two weeks, but the problem was solved only after the leader of Tehran Ayatollah Janati acted as a "peacemaker" between Jafarli and Ahmedinejad. (ANI)