Iran president says enemies claimed firecracker incident was attack to overshadow his message

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's president says his enemies exaggerated a firecracker incident near his motorcade to overshadow an important speech he was delivering in the western town of Hamedan.

Tehran has said that Wednesday's explosion near Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's convoy was just an excited fan setting off a firecracker, denying earlier reports of an assassination attempt on the president.

The incident happened as Ahmadinejad was driving to a stadium, where he later addressed supporters and criticized Western demands that Iran halt its nuclear activities.

The blast set off a flurry of media reports, including one that it was a handmade grenade.

State IRNA news agency on Thursday quoted Ahmadinejad as saying enemies tried to prevent his "words from reaching the world."