Ahmadinejad Got Slapped for Siding With Protesters

Iranian president suggested more freedom would end riots
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 3, 2011 5:05 PM CST
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks with media during his press conference in Tehran, Iran, Monday, Nov. 29, 2010.   (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

(Newser) – Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, not necessarily known as a big softy, took a surprisingly sympathetic stance toward the protesters then filling the streets to protest his election—and got slapped across the face for his trouble. Ahmadinejad, in a meeting with the Supreme National Security Council, said the people felt "suffocated" and suggested that relaxing limits on personal liberty and the press would help calm tensions. A Revolutionary Guard honcho slapped him one for his trouble, according to the February 11 cable released by WikiLeaks.

As the Huffington Post reports, Revolutionary Guard chief of staff Mohammed Ali Jafari berated Ahmadinejad, screaming, "You are wrong! It is YOU who created this mess! And now you say give more freedom to the press?!" Chaos ensued, and the meeting was ended, never to resume.

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