WikiLeaks is starting to read like George W. Bush-penned fan fiction, with reports today of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad getting slapped across the face by Revolutionary Guard Chief of Staff Mohammed Ali Jafari, who is apparently still alive, somehow. It seems they disagreed about Iran’s near-revolution, but to make this all more unbelievable, Ahmadinejad was hit because he was encouraging more freedom for both people and the press. America, collectively, is scratching its head.
From a recent diplomatic cable, February 11, 2010, emphasis ours:
2. (S) According to source, President Ahmedinejad surprised other SNSC members by taking a surprisingly liberal posture during a mid January post-Ashura meeting of the SNSC called to discuss next steps on dealing with opposition protests. Source said that Ahmedinejad 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.
3. (S) According to source, Ahmedinejad’s statements infuriated Revolutionary Guard Chief of Staff Mohammed Ali 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?!” Source said that Jafarli then slapped Ahmedinejad in the face, causing an uproar and an immediate call for a break in the meeting, which was never resumed. Source said that SNSC did not meet again for another two weeks, after Ayatollah Janati succesfully acted as a “peacemaker” between Jafarli and Ahmedinejad. Source added that the break in the SNSC meeting, but not the slap that caused it, has made its way on to some Iranian blogs.
Spokesman Ramezan Sharif said the report was published as part of an attempt to divert attention from the “kidnapping and torture of General Reza (Asghari).”
And somewhere, either a murder is being planned or a video tape is being burned. Maybe both! (At least in our imaginations, where global politics function like a James Bond film.) The source, though, is listed as “a former non-Marxist revolutionary activist,” who we’re going to go ahead and cast as Benicio Del Toro. Spielberg’s read this, right?
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 3, 2011