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Footage shows Salavati Sorouri being slapped in head after criticising incumbent president, Hassan Rouhani
Iranian governor slapped in the face during public speech
A senior Iranian official has been slapped in the face by a colleague after criticising the incumbent president, Hassan Rouhani, on live television.
Footage shows the Salavati Sorouri of the province of Saravan protesting after the governor, Mohammad Qazi, told a cabinet meeting in September that Rouhani’s government “is going on and on without solving any problems”.
Responding to Qazi, Sorouri said: “You think everything is good in this country? The government of the last two years is the worst.”
After Qazi continued to say Rouhani was “ideologically distant” from government ministers and incompetent at his job, Sorouri leaned towards him and then slapped Qazi in the head.
“Unfortunately, I was slapped in my head,” Qazi told the Iranian radio station Fars.
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“Our decision is you will not shake hands with me again,” he added, according to state news agency IRNA. “I regret what has happened and I’m sorry to the public and to people. I will face the consequences.”
Qazi denied he did it out of political motives.
Footage of the incident sparked a backlash on social media, with some Iranian politicians criticising Qazi, according to state media.
Sorouri ran in the last presidential election against Rouhani. He lost.