The Iranian government has denied a report that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was the target of an assassination attempt today.
According to a conservative Iranian news website, however, a grenade was thrown at the presidential convoy as it passed through the western city of Hamedan this morning.
The attacker cried "death to the hypocrites" before lobbing the grenade, which landed about 100 yards from the president's car, KhabarOnline reported. A man was immediately apprehended, according to the website.
Later in the day, however, KhabarOnline removed the story from its website.
Ahmadinejad's office said there was no bombing attempt but that an onlooker threw a firecracker as the presidential motorcade went past.
Ahmadinejad was uninjured and went on to give a scheduled speech at a local sports stadium. State television showed pictures of him addressing a large crowd.
Ahmadinejad had himself mentioned an assassination plot earlier this week: "Silly Zionists have hired assassins to assassinate me, but after all their terrors on the people of Iran, where did they get to?" he asked at an Iranian expat conference.
Al Arabiya news network said a bomb hit a car carrying journalists and presidential staff, and that several people were injured.
The president's office, however, told ABC News that no such incident occurred and state-owned PressTV blamed the reports on "foreign news outlets."
KhabarOnline, the first Iranian news outlet to cover the event, is a conservative site connected with Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani, a rival of Ahmadinejad's.
Other Iranian news outlets were initially quiet about the reported attack, although reformist sites later picked it up, quoting KhabarOnline.
"Khabar has been increasingly critical of the government over the past few months," said Scott Lucas, an Iranian expert who publishes the Enduring America blog. "They're more likely to put the incident out than state media. An attack certainly could be connected to the post-election tension.
Ahmedinejad Would Look Weak
"It could have important political significance given the divisions within the ruling establishment. And in the public eye it makes Ahmedinejad look weak," he said.