- Khorram had once served in the country’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard and reportedly had been kidnapped at one point by rebel forces in Syria.
- The attacker was upset that his wife had received the vaccination from a male nurse instead of a female nurse.
A newly appointed Iranian governor, Zeinolabedin Khorram, was slapped hard in the face by an angry man during his inauguration on Saturday.
The new governor of East Azerbaijan province had taken the stage in the provincial capital of Tabriz when the man walked up to Khorram, slapped him and shoved him.
The video which was aired on national television saw the crowd gasp in shock and disbelief, with the sound of the slap echoing on the sound system. A few moments later, security guards are seen rushing to Khorram, whisking the man off stage. Later footage showed the governor return to the stage to speak to the shaken crowd.
Governor Khorram comments on the incident
In an interview with Iran’s state-run TV (IRIB), the provincial governor said he did not know the attacker personally. “I do not know him of course but you should know that, although I did not want to say it, when I was in Syria I would get whipped by the enemy 10 times a day and would be beaten up,” he said. “More than 10 times, they would hold a loaded gun to my head. I consider him on a par with those enemies but forgive him.”
Although the governor claimed he did not know the man, IRNA, the state-run news agency, identified the man as a member of the Guard’s Ashura Corps, which Khorram had overseen.
The motive for the attack remained unclear. However, the man told the police after his arrest he was upset that his wife had received the vaccination from a male nurse instead of a female nurse.
Khorram had been recently nominated as the provincial governor under the government of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, a protégé of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. He once served in the country’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard and reportedly had been kidnapped at one point by rebel forces in Syria.