The governor of the city of Isfahan has been slapped in the face by a man during a speech on corruption, during which he criticized Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, according to local media.
The attacker had been identified by officials as 44-year-old Hassan Yari, and according to reports, he hit the deputy governor’s head with his hand when the crowd broke up into more than a dozen groups at the governor’s speech. The crowd began “shouting slogans,” some of which included the references to Ayatollah Khamenei. Videos of the incident show that it was not the first time Yari had showered the deputy governor with insults, and in the past had confronted him while wearing a baseball cap bearing the Supreme Leader’s name.
“Ayatollah Khamenei is a useless person and a sick person,” Yari reportedly said in one incident.
“Ayatollah Khamenei came here thinking he can insult people; Ayatollah Khamenei is a despot and a dictator,” Yari is said to have said in another.
During the latest attack, the newspaper Iran Daily has alleged that Yari then grabbed a moustache from the deputy governor, and carried it away as a souvenir, before punching him in the face. According to Yari’s family, the 58-year-old man had been attacked before, and had been abandoned by his family. His grandmother, who founded a charity, has accused the Supreme Leader of sowing hatred against her husband. “You’ve played your part and now we’re the ones responsible for this terrible, evil thing,” she said, according to The New York Times.
While Yari was taken to a hospital, the area where the incident took place was on lockdown, and all remaining evidence of the assault was removed. Government officials have yet to make an official statement.
Read the full story at The New York Times.
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