Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Ahmadinejad's always looking for an enemy! Wait now for the conspiracy theories!! Israel, America, Britain ~ must have been being behind this!!
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has survived a grenade attack on his convoy in western Iran.
The blast from a homemade bomb took place today in Hamedan as Mr Ahmadinejad was travelling through a busy crowd to make an address at a sports stadium.
The president was unhurt, but other people in the convoy were injured. One person has been arrested over the incident.
Mr Ahmadinejad continued with his plans to make a speech in Hamadan, which was broadcast on Iranian television. He made no mention of an assault.
Iranian officials denied Mr Ahmadinejad was targeted, with the state-run Press TV adding 'no such attack had happened'.
Officials said the blast was caused by a firework being set off by someone in the crowd to cheer the president.
'It was a firecracker, and a statement will be released soon,' an official inthe president's media office said.
However, the conservative website Khabaronline said: 'This morning a hand grenade exploded next to a vehicle carrying reporters accompanying the president in Hamedan.
'Ahmadinejad's car was 100 metres away and he was not hurt.'
Al Arabiya television said an attacker had thrown a bomb at Ahmadinejad's convoy before being detained.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, although the populist, hardline Mr Ahmadinejad has accumulated enemies in conservative and reformist circles in the Islamic Republic as well as abroad.
Iran has also provoked anger from the UK and the U.S. over its controversial nuclear weapons' programme, which it claims is for peaceful purposes.
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.
The oil market initially reacted calmly to reports of the attempted attack.
Paul Harris, head of natural resources risk management at Bank of Ireland, said: 'I expect that any backlash there might be from Ahmadinejad will be far more important to the oil market than the initial attack itself.
'You would expect the oil market to react if there is any attempt to link the attack to the current tensions with the West and the ramping up of sanctions.'
Baqer Moin, a London-based Iran expert, said Hamadan was a stable area without any notable ethnic or local tension.
'Let's wait and see who they accuse, an internal or an external enemy,' he added.
Several armed groups opposed to the government are active in Iran, mostly fighting in the name of ethnic Kurds in the northwest, Baluch in the southeast and Arabs in the south west.
The banned Mujahideen Khalq, listed by the U.S. as a terrorist group, carried out several anti-government attacks after the 1979 Islamic revolution.
It was blamed for two 1981 bombings that killed dozens of senior officials in Tehran, including the president and prime minister.
Shahin Gobadi, French-based spokesman for the Mujahideen, now part of an opposition coalition known as National Council of Resistance of Iran, denied involvement.
Asked if his group was behind the attack, he said: 'Absolutely not, absolutely not. It has nothing to do with us.'
Mr Ahmadinejad recently sought to isolate rival political factions by declaring that 'the regime has only one party, which is the velayat' - a reference to Shi'ite Islam's hidden Imam, for now represented by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
One of Mr 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.
On Monday, Mr Ahmadinejad called on U.S. President Barack Obama to face him in a televised one-on-one debate to see who has the best solutions for the world's problems.
Mr Ahmadinejad, backed by Khamenei and the elite Revolutionary Guards, crushed street protests that greeted his disputed re-election in June 2009, although he has yet to silence losing reformist candidates Mirhossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karoubi.
The president, first elected in 2005, also seems bent on displacing an older layer of conservative leaders and clerics whose influence dates back to the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Many of them resent the rising economic and political power of Ahmadinejad's allies in the Revolutionary Guards and are disconcerted by his mystical devotion to the hidden Imam.
Conservatives such as parliament speaker Ali Larijani, a fierce critic of Mr Ahmadinejad's economic policies, have tacitly urged Khamenei, the Islamic Republic's ultimate authority, to rein in the fiery president, to little visible effect.
Reformists have blamed state 'discrimination' for creating discontent that has emboldened a Sunni Muslim rebel group behind two suicide bombings that killed at least 28 people in a Shi'ite mosque in southeastern Iran last month.
Posted by Cole at 9:34 AM