An event introducing a newly appointed Iranian governor was abruptly cut short on Saturday when a guy rushed on stage and slapped him across the face.
When the incident occurred, Zeinolabedin Khorram, the new governor of East Azerbaijan region, was on stage giving a speech at the Imam Khomeini Mosque in Tabriz, in the northeastern metropolis of Azerbaijan.
A video released by Iran’s semi-official Fars News Agency shows a man calmly approaching Khorram, smacking him across the face, and then shoving him. After then, security guards can be seen rushing toward the perpetrator and dragging him off the stage.
The gathering, which was attended by the country’s Interior Minister, representatives from Ayatollah Khamenei’s office, and other state officials, was a rare breach of security in Iran.
Ayoub Alizadeh, a member of the country’s armed forces, was identified as the perpetrator by the semi-official news agency Tasnim.
The deputy governor told state-run broadcaster IRIB that he did not know the offender personally.
The attack’s motivation is unknown. According to Khorram, the perpetrator assaulted him after he was caught because he was furious because a man, not a woman, had vaccinated his wife at a Covid-19 vaccine clinic, according to IRIB’s report.
According to another source, the incident was not motivated by politics. “Certainly, this person’s aim was personal, and it had nothing to do with the appointment of the governor or even his comments,” Ali Alizadeh, a delegate from Maragheh, a city in East Azerbaijan province, said when asked about the event in parliament on Saturday.
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