Iran denies grenade attack on Ahmadinejad

Reports say Iran's Ahmadinejad survived bomb attack


Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's motorcade was not attacked by a grenade on Wednesday, an official in his media office told AFP, explaining that an explosion was from a "firecracker."

"It was a firecracker, and a statement will be released soon," the source said.

He was responding to reports on a conservative website that a hand grenade had exploded next to a vehicle carrying reporters accompanying the president in the western city of Hamadan.

Iran's Arabic-language al-Alam TV reported that the firecracker was set off to cheer the president.

Ahmadinejad later delivered a live televised speech to locals gathered in a stadium and made no reference to the alleged incident.

During a speech to a conference of expatriate Iranians in Tehran this week, 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.

One of Ahmadinejad's trademarks has been constant travel around his vast country to deliver provocative speeches before outwardly adoring crowds who shout "death" to Iran's foes.