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Failed attack on Iranian President

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was unharmed by an attack with a homemade explosive device on his motorcade during a visit to the western city of Hamadan on Wednesday, a source in his office said.

world Updated: Aug 05, 2010 00:02 IST
Agencies

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was unharmed by an attack with a homemade explosive device on his motorcade during a visit to the western city of Hamadan on Wednesday, a source in his office said.

But, Iran’s official news agency said that an explosion near the president’s convoy was just an excited fan setting off fireworks, denying reports of an assassination attempt.

A fan set off a firecracker similar to those used during sports matches to express his excitement at Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s visit to the western Iranian town of Hamedan, reported IRNA news agency. The explosion near the president’s convoy had set off a flurry of media reports, including one that it was a handmade grenade.

The conservative Iranian website, khabaronline.ir, said a grenade exploded as the president’s convoy headed from the airport to the venue for the speech, but did not harm him.

Ahmadinejad went on to give his speech as planned, and it was broadcast live on state television. He made no mention of the attack in his remarks, focusing instead on the country’s disputed nuclear program.

He struck a hard line against Western demands that Iran halt its nuclear activities.

“It will be one of your big mistakes if you think you, resorting to lies and hue and cry, are able to achieve something and we will give you any concession,” Ahmadinejad told the crowd at the Hamedan stadium.

One person was arrested in connection with the attack, the website report said, adding that Ahmadinejad’s car was about 100 metres from the blast. It also said there was no information whether anyone was injured.