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Ahmadinejad Claims Attempt on His Life While in Iraq

The Iranian broadcasting service carried Mahmoud Ahmamedinejad’s statement to clerics in the city of Qum [religious center of Iran] that while he was on state visit to Iraq last March there was an attempt on his life. He declared: “According to reliable intelligence information, our enemies planned to kidnap and kill your servant [Ahmadinejad] but we had deliberately changed our program at the last moment.” Iranians refers to the US, as “our enemies.”

Naseer al-Aani, the head of the bureau of the Iraqi president Jalal Talabani denied such an attempt. Talabani said he accompanied Ahmadinejad throughout his visit to Iraq until "we bid farewell". There was no last minute change in the security plan and there was no attempt on his life from any source.

[In fact, upon his return to Tehran from Iraq, Ahmadinejad boasted that he was the only foreign dignitary to visit Iraq who refused the protection of the Green Zone and that he felt very safe in Iraq outside the Green Zone. The alleged attempt on his life may be an Iranian attempt to counter Iraqi accusations that Iran has supplied large quantities of Iranian weapons and training to the militias. Iranian weapons have recently often been put on display by Iraqis. This may suggest that the honeymoon between Iran and Iraq is coming to an end. Iraq’s strong Arab identity will eventually drive it away from Iran toward its Arab roots.]

al-Sharq al-Awsat, June 21, 2008

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