ANALYSIS / Was It an Assassination Attempt on Ahmadinejad or Not?

Reports indicate roadside bomb exploded next to Iranian presidential convoy, but authorities claim blast was a firecracker set off by supporter.

Iranian authorities didn't even try to use the expression "the president suffered no harm" following a wave of reports of an assassination attempt on Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. From their perspective, there was no possible reason for Ahmadinejad to suffer any harm.

They never saw and never heard of any attempt on his life, and even that "grenade" that was supposedly thrown at his convoy, as far as they are concerned it was just a firecracker that was supposed to express the support of the people for the president.

Bodyguards of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad react after an incident near his motorcade - August 4, 2010
AP / Saman Aghvami

The opposition did not hurry to flood the internet with exclusive photographs of the assassination attempt either, and as a result we cannot confirm that citizens were injured in the assassination attempt, as was reported by al-Arabiya, no big fans of the Iranian president.

There's no question that there are actors inside of Iran – not to mention actors outside of Iran – that are interested in assassinating him: from residents of the Sistan-Baluchestan region bordering Pakistan in the southeast, to Arabs in the Ahwaz region, to Kurds in the northwest regions of the country.

Those regions suffer continuous oppression and neglect by the central government, and in the last few years they have seen the growth of anti-government groups and nationalist groups that demand political autonomy. Some of these groups have even adopted armed struggle.

Despite these, and the abundance of rivals and opponents, up until now there has been only one attempt to assassinate him, in December 2005. In that incident, his vehicle was shot at by "a group of thugs" – a political euphemism for rebel groups – during a visit to the Sistan-Baluchestan region. In that attack, the president's driver and one of his bodyguards was killed.

A few days ago, Ahmadinejad announced that Israel is planning to assassinate him. On Tuesday, Iranian Intelligence and National Security Minister Heyder Moslehi told the Iranian news agency ISNA that the country's security services have recently uncovered a number of plans to assassinate the president that are supported by Israel. But even he didn't specifically state that Wednesday's events were another assassination attempt.