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New Book Reveals the Moment a Secret Service Agent 'Almost Shot Mahmoud Ahmadinejad


"Everyone just stopped."

Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad meets with his Sudanese counterpart Omar al-Bashir upon the the former's arrival at Khartoum, late on September 25, 2011 for a brief visit aimed at bolstering political and economic ties between the allied Islamic nations. Credit: AFP/Getty Images

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, center, waves to lawmakers, as he arrives at the parliament for a debate on his nominee for post of health minister, in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, March 17, 2013. Credit: AP

A new book by longtime national security writer Marc Ambinder and D.B. Grady reveals that a Secret Service agent almost shot Iranian dictator Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during a visit to New York City during the George W. Bush administration.

The incident -- detailed in "Deep State: Inside the Government Secrecy Industry" and excerpted on The Atlantic website under the headline "How the Secret Service Almost Shot Mahmoud Ahmadinejad" -- happened in September 2006 outside Ahmadinejad's NYC hotel in Midtown Manhattan.

“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,” a presidential daily briefing describing the incident said.

Apparently the agent was adjusting a side-mounted shotgun on a car in the dictator's motorcade when he accidentally pulled the trigger.

“Everyone just stopped," an official with knowledge of the incident told the authors 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."

That official was initially scared that Ahmadinejad, who was on his way to deliver a speech at the United Nations -- would use the incident to embarrass the U.S. in front of the international community.

He didn't.

"The Iranians told no one. Their silence led several White House aides to begin to see Ahmadinejad in a new light. Here was evidence that maybe Iran was acting strategically, and therefore cautiously," the excerpt concludes.

(H/T: Daily Mail)

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