Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says the enemies plotted to abduct and assassinate him during his recent visit to Iraq in March. Addressing a meeting of clerics in the holy city of Qom, Ahmadinejad noted that the plot was foiled because of last-minute changes in his schedule.
He said those who hatched the plot were astounded because they heard about the changes after he had departed Iraq.
Meanwhile, a senior Iraqi security official in Baghdad who was involved in Ahmadinejad’s visit said the Iranian president had planned to go to the southern Shia holy cities of Karbala and Najaf but these trips were canceled because of fears for his safety.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk about the visit.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was the first president who visited Iraq for two days on a preplanned schedule.
Earlier, British and American officials had paid unannounced visits to the country only for some hours without staying overnight.
Ahmadinejad’s trip to Baghdad was the first by an Iranian leader since the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran, signaling a new era of close relations between Tehran and Baghdad.