On Saturday, a man walked on stage and slapped a newly appointed Iranian governor in the face, causing the occasion to be drastically disrupted.
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 sprinting toward the perpetrator and dragging him off the platform.
It was a rare breach of security in Iran — the event was attended by the country’s Interior Minister, representatives of Ayatollah Khamenei’s office and other state officials.
The semi-official news agency Tasnim identified the offender as Ayoub Alizadeh, a member of the country’s armed forces. In an interview with state-run television IRIB, the provincial governor said he did not know the offender personally.
The attack’s motivation is unknown. According to Khorram, the criminal 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 report, the incident was not motivated by politics. When asked about the incident in parliament on Saturday, Ali Alizadeh, a representative from Maragheh, a city in East Azerbaijan province, said “certainly, this person’s motive was personal and it had nothing to do with the appointment of the governor or even his words.”