Iran factory blast coincides with reported bomb attack on Ahmadinejad
August 6, 2010 3 Comments
By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
Official Iranian denials of an alleged bomb attack on the life of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Wednesday have been followed by reports of a simultaneous attack on a state-of-the-art Iranian petrochemicals complex. Specifically, on August 4, Reuters news agency cited an Iranian “presidential office source” in reporting a strong blast “500 meters from Ahmadinejad’s motorcade”. The blast, which Reuters attributed to either a hand grenade or a homemade explosive device, occurred as the Iranian President was being transported from the regional airport of Hamadan, in western Iran, to the city’s sports complex, where he was scheduled to deliver a speech. Reuters’ unnamed source said the President escaped unhurt, but subsequent reports indicated that several other passengers on the motorcade were injured. Interestingly, President Ahmadinejad’s office initially appeared to confirm the assassination attempt, but soon afterwards official state news agency IRNA attributed the blast on “an excited young man from Hamadan [who] exploded a firecracker in order to express his happiness”. The IRNA report also blamed “some foreign media [that] tried to take advantage of this event, in line with their goals”, and quoted Deputy Commander of the Iranian police, Ahmadreza Radan, who blasted the assassination reports as “a big lie that some foreign media published and wanted to spread”. However, later on that same evening, Israeli intelligence news website DEBKAfile reported “a massive explosion” at the new state-of-the-art petrochemicals processing facility in Pardis, a planned new suburb of Tehran. The plant was personally inaugurated by President Ahmadinejad just days prior to the blast. More importantly, the explosion, which DEBKAfile said killed “at least five workers”, reportedly occurred at 12:30 p.m. on August 4, which was also the time of the alleged assassination attempt on President Ahmadinejad. In Washington, government officials refused comment on the reports from Iran. State Department spokesman Philip Crowley told reporters that he and his colleagues “are still evaluating based on the information that we have. We haven’t arrived at a judgment as to what happened”.