- (Photo: Reuters/Caren Firouz)
A new book that is scheduled to be released in April details the events surrounding Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the U.S. Secret Service agent who nearly shot him at the United Nations in 2006.
The account came in the book, "Deep State: Inside the Government Secrecy Industry," written by national security journalists Marc Ambinder and D.B. Grady, and referenced a day in September 2006 which cites an intelligence briefing that was given to President George W. Bush.
"A U.S. Secret Service agent, in an apparent accident, discharged his shotgun as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was loading his motorcade at the InterContinental Hotel yesterday," an official told the authors.
The unnamed official goes on to reveal that members of both security details paused for a moment before the agent whose weapon discharged began apologizing. Ahmadinejad acknowledged the incident and proceeded to enter his vehicle. U.S. officials were worried that the Iranian president would use the incident against them, but were surprised when nothing came about.
They suspected that Ahmadinejad was more calculating and precautious than previously thought, given that Ahmadinejad could have used the incident as a ploy to garner support for his regime.
The Iranian president is still making international headlines with the most recent coming from the funeral of his friend late Venezuelan president Hug Chavez.
Ahmadinejad drew the ire of religious clerics in his own country after a picture surfaced that showed the Muslim president embracing Hugo Chavez's' grieving mother.
The reason the picture has caused such a problem for Ahmadinejad is due to Iran's conservative Islamic codes, which forbid a Muslim from touching a member of the opposite sex that is not related.
"Touching a non-mahram (non-relative) is forbidden under any circumstances, whether shaking hands or touching by the cheek," Mohammad Taqi Rahbar, a prominent Iranian cleric, told AFP. Even contact with "an older woman is not allowed ... and contrary to the dignity of the president of the Islamic Republic of Iran," he added.
Iranian papers have been leading the public lashing of Ahmadinejad, which has given clerics from the religious center of Qom a platform from which to voice their disapproval ahead of the country's presidential elections that will be held in June.
Ahmadinejad was also lambasted for his comments regarding Chavez being a "martyr." He claimed the late Venezuelan president will be resurrected alongside Jesus Christ and Imam Mahdi, a revered figure of Shiite Muslims.