There's been a lot of good stuff to come out of the WikiLeaks diplomatic cables, but this one, for our money, is the best so far in terms of sheer entertainment value: Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reportedly got slapped by the Revolutionary Guard chief of staff in a meeting last January about opposition protests:
Source said that Ahmedinejad claimed that "people feel suffocated," and mused that to defuse the situation it may be necessary to allow more personal and social freedoms, including more freedom of the press.
According to source, Ahmedinejad's statements infuriated Revolutionary Guard Chief of Staff Mohammed Ali Jafari, who exclaimed "You are wrong! (In fact) it is YOU who created this mess! And now you say give more freedom to the press?!" Source said that Jafarli then slapped Ahmedinejad in the face, causing an uproar and an immediate call for a break in the meeting, which was never resumed. Source said that SNSC did not meet again for another two weeks, after Ayatollah Janati succesfully acted as a "peacemaker" between Jafarli and Ahmedinejad. Source added that the break in the SNSC meeting, but not the slap that caused it, has made its way on to some Iranian blogs.
What this disclosure says about Ahmadinejad's power within the Iranian leadership, or what it will mean for his image and influence, we'll leave to the experts. But it's a widely observed rule of politics to never get slapped across the face. Of course Ahmadinejad will deny it ever happened. That's kind of his thing.