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Iran blocks access to EL PAÍS website after combative embassy cable

WikiLeaks document alleges head of Revolutionary Guard slapped president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Iranian authorities have blocked access to the EL PAÍS website following the publication of a WikiLeaks cable in which it is stated that the head of the Revolutionary Guard, Ali Jafari, slapped Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Access to other publications carrying the news has also been blocked, while local media have not reported the cable, the content of which has been neither confirmed nor denied by official sources.

In the US Embassy cable, dated February 11, diplomat Rob Gaverick, stationed in Baku, Azerbaijan, cites an unnamed Iranian source and asserts that General Jafari hit Ahmadinejad during a heated argument over the repercussions of the June 2009 elections in Iran. The cable states that Ahmadinejad called for more press freedom and tolerance. "You are mistaken," Jafari is said to have countered. "You have created this situation."