Tehran has denied a WikiLeaks report that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
was slapped by the head of the Islamic Republic's Revolutionary Guards.
According to the WikiLeaks report, a source in Azerbaijan told American diplomats in early 2010 that General Mohammad-Ali Jafari was furious at Ahmadinejad over his stand on freedom of the press and slapped him during a meeting of Iran's Supreme National Security Council.
The Fars news agency quoted a Revolutionary Guards spokesman as saying Saturday that "those behind WikiLeaks have availed themselves of the fame they gained through their insider information and invent false stories."
Spokesman Ramezan Sharif said the report was published as part of an attempt to divert attention from the "kidnapping and torture of General Reza (Asghari)."
On Friday Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi urged UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon "to strive to clarify the fate" of Asghari, who disappeared in Turkey in 2007, after checking into an Istanbul hotel.
The Iranian minister said that Israel is "directly responsible" for Asghari's life. Following the former defense minister's disappearance, Iranian officials charged that Israel abducted him.
According to older media reports that have not been confirmed, Ashgari defected from Iran voluntarily and later shared highly classified intelligence information with a Western power, believed to be the United States.
President Ahmadinejad last year dismissed the WikiLeaks documents as worthless, saying they followed certain political aims and had no impact on Iran's relations with any other states.
Iran was especially upset over leaked documents saying that Saudi Arabia and Bahrain urged Washington to halt Iran's nuclear program by any means, including a military attack.
AFP, news agencies contributed to the report