Berlin – The chief of the Revolutionary Guard angrily slapped Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in early 2010, as Tehran was still dealing with the fallout from last year’s election, according to a leaked US diplomatic cable.
The cable, written in February, said Revolutionary Guard Chief of Staff Mohammed Ali Jafari blamed Ahmadinejad for the post-election “mess” in 2009, which saw the country roundly criticized by the West amid allegations of fraud and tough crackdowns on large-scale protests in Tehran.
The guard was founded after the Islamic revolution in 1979 to prevent dissident activity and is a strong internal force within the country, with economic and military wings.
Jafari is seen as close to the most conservative Iranian elements, but Ahmedinejad himself is also deemed a stalwart hawk.
The cable, titled “He who got slapped,” quotes an Iran watcher in Baku, Azerbaijan, who related that Ahmedinejad felt that in the aftermath of the post-election street protests, which turned violent, “people feel suffocated.”