Thu, Aug 05, 2010 - Page 6 News List

Iranian president survives bomb blast near motorcade

REUTERS , TEHRAN

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

The source said Ahmadinejad’s convoy was targeted as he was traveling from Hamadan’s airport to give a speech in a local sports arena and the president was unhurt, but others had been injured in the blast.

One person had been arrested, the presidency source said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

The populist, hardline Ahmadinejad has accumulated enemies in conservative and reformist circles in Iran as well as abroad.

Al-Arabiyah television said an attacker had thrown a bomb at Ahmadinejad’s convoy before being detained.

Dubai-based al-Arabiyah television cited its own sources as saying the bomb had hit a car carrying journalists and presidential staff.

Ahmadinejad appeared on live Iranian television at a sports stadium in Hamadan.

He was apparently well and made no mention of any assault.

During a speech to a conference of expatriate Iranians in Tehran on Monday, Ahmadinejad said he believed he was the target of an assassination plot by Israel.

“The stupid Zionists have hired mercenaries to assassinate me,” he said.

Ahmadinejad recently sought to isolate rival political factions by declaring that “the regime has only one party, which is the velayat” — a reference to Shiite Islam’s hidden Imam, for now represented by Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

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