Image: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki
Ahmad Al-rubaye/pool  /  EPA
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, left, and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki hold a joint press conference in Baghdad on March 2. Ahmadinejad claims that 'enemies' plotted to kill him during his visit to Iraq.
updated 6/19/2008 1:12:04 PM ET 2008-06-19T17:12:04

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has accused "enemies" — an apparent reference to the United States — of plotting to kidnap and assassinate him during a visit earlier this year to Iraq.

The hardliner told a meeting of clerics in the central Iranian city of Qom that Iran's "enemies" planned to kill him when he went to Baghdad in March, according to the president's Web site. Iranian leaders usually use the term "enemies" to refer to Western nations and the United States in particular.

The Web site quoted him Thursday as saying that the plot was never carried out because of "intentional" last-minute changes in his schedule during the visit. He did not elaborate or say how Tehran learned of the alleged plot.

Ahmadinejad's trip to Baghdad was the first by an Iranian leader since the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran, a sign of the close ties between Tehran and the Shiite-led government in Baghdad.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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