Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was almost shot when a U.S. Secret Service agent accidentally fired his gun at a UN assembly in 2006.
According to a new book, “Deep State: Inside the Government Secrecy Industry” by Marc Ambinder and DB Grady, the incident was covered up because it was feared that Iran would accuse the U.S. of an attempted assassination.
The incident happened as President Ahmadinejad was leaving the InterContinental Hotel in New York. A Secret Service agent readjusting a shotgun mounted on a vehicle in former President George W. Bush’s motorcade accidentally discharged the gun, narrowly missing Ahmadinejad.
“A US Secret Service agent, in an apparent accident, discharged his shotgun as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was loading his motorcade at the InterContinental Hotel yesterday,” wrote Bush’s daily intelligence brief the day after the incident, reports RT.com.
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“Everyone just stopped,” said an official cited in the book. “The Iranians looked at us and we looked at the Iranians. The agent began to apologize. Ahmadinejad just turned his head and got into his car.”
The incident had the potential to spark a major international scandal but it was quickly swept under the rug. The book says that Washington officials interpreted the Iranians’ silence to mean that the country was acting cautiously and strategically.