A US agent almost accidentally shot Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in New York six years ago, a new book has claimed.
During a UN General Assembly in 2006, an agent was adjusting a shotgun mounted on a motorcade when it discharged, authors Marc Ambinder and D B Grady claim.
Their book, Deep State: Inside the Government Secrecy Industry, says Ahmadinejad was climbing into his car at the time.
A top secret memo detailed the incident to then US President George W Bush.
"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," the memo apparently said.
According to the book, "everyone just stopped. The Iranians looked at us and we looked at the Iranians. The agent began to apologise.
"Ahmadinejad just turned his head and got into his car."
Nothing was said of the incident by Iran, the book claims, leading White House aides to view Ahmadinejad "in a different light".
They had feared the Iranian President might use the incident as propaganda, claiming the US had attempted to assassinate him.