TEHRAN, Iran — Guards at the presidential complex in Tehran opened fire, wounding a man carrying a sword and trying to enter the compound, Iran’s official IRNA news agency said Monday.
The report quoted Hamid Reza Goudarzi, deputy security chief, as saying that the 35-year-old man was taken to hospital. There was no information on his condition or possible motives for trying to enter the presidential complex.
IRNA said the man had managed to pass through the first checkpoint, one of several. It wasn’t clear whether President Hassan Rouhani was in the complex on Monday. Others described the sword as a machete.
A New York Times reporter said the man was wearing a white shroud, which may have indicated he intended to die, and attacked presidential guards with the weapon.
Another unusual event in Iran: a 35-year old man carrying a machete, wearing a white shroud (meaning ready to die) tries to enter the presidential palace in Tehran, attacks a guards and is shot and injured, local media reports.
— Thomas Erdbrink (@ThomasErdbrink) February 5, 2018
While carrying the large blade could be seen as an attempt to carry out an attack, some Iranian men occasionally carry swords and daggers, especially when in traditional clothing.
Police have tried to dissuade people from carrying such arms and occasionally confiscate the weapons.