Iran Focus: Tehran, Jun. 06 – Iran’s Interior Minister was hospitalised following a fistfight with a grandson of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and another top official, a website close to the Revolutionary Guards reported on Saturday.
Tehran, Jun. 06 – Iran’s Interior Minister was hospitalised following a fistfight with a grandson of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and another top official, a website close to the Revolutionary Guards reported on Saturday.
During Khomeini’s death anniversary commemoration on Friday, a scuffle broke out between Khomeini’s grandson Hassan and Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar. Hassan Khomeini was angry over the fact that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had taken his turn and spoken longer that had been planned, thereby leaving little time for the younger Khomeini to speak.
Mohammad-Najjar defended the decision, which led to a shouting match between the two. Mohammad Ali Ansari, the event’s coordinator, intervened, siding with Hassan Khomeini. Javan Online, affiliated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), reported that Khomeini had slapped Mohammad-Najjar in the face three times and punched him in the nose, which was broken, requiring surgery. The Interior Minister is currently receiving treatment in Tehran’s Chamran Hospital.
Ansari also caused a storm when he repeatedly went on to the stage while Ahmadinejad was making his address in an effort to force him to cut his speech short but was at one point ticked off by the President for being disrespectful.
Mohammad-Najjar, an IRGC Brigadier General, was Defence Minister during Ahmadinejad’s first term in office. He was the first commander of the Revolutionary Guards’ Middle East Force in the 1980s, and personally oversaw the suicide operation that killed 241 U.S. servicemen in Beirut in October 1983.
The fistfight between Hassan Khomeini and Mohammad-Najjar is not the first of its kind among senior Iranian officials.
In 2005, radical cleric Hojjatol-Islam Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei, former Intelligence Minister and current Prosecutor-General, had a run-in with reformist lawmaker Issa Saharkhiz and was reported to have thrown a sugar pot at him and bit him on the shoulder after Saharkhiz publicly criticised hard-line measures being implemented.