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Wednesday, August 04, 2010 07:50:28 PM, Agencies
Smoke rises next to a vehicle transporting Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as he arrives in the city of Hamedan.
(Photo: Associated Press)
Tehran: A conservative Iranian website said President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad escaped an assassination attempt after a handmade grenade exploded near his convoy on Wednesday, but Tehran state TV denied the report.
Other media reported an explosion in the area but gave conflicting accounts about the cause. Some said it was a firecracker.
The website khabaronline.ir said, the grenade detonated near Ahmadinejad's convoy as he was on his way to address a crowd in the western Iranian town of Hamedan but did not harm him.
The president later gave 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. The US and its allies accuse Iran of trying to develop atomic weapons, but Tehran insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.
"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 yards (meters) from the blast. It also said there was no information whether anyone was injured.
"The explosion caused a lot of smoke," the report said.
Iran's state-run Press TV, the government's main English-language broadcast arm, said an informed source in Ahmadinejad's office vehemently denied the allegation, insisting "no such attack had happened."
Al Jazeera's Alireza Ronaghi, reporting from Iran, said, "Presidential sources say a firecracker went off near Ahmadinejad's convoy. They deny it was anything bigger than that and say Ahmadinejad and his entourage are OK.
"When I contacted the president's office in Tehran [the capital of Iran], officials vehemently denied any such incident," he said.
"I also gathered information from some journalists who were part of Ahmadinejad's convoy and they said they haven't heard or seen anything."
"I think it must have been something so insignificant or so small that nobody noticed anything", he added.
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