A blast blamed on a gas leak hit Iran's largest refinery on Tuesday around the time of a visit by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Iranian media reported that up to two people died and 20 people injured in this incident.
The explosion occurred just before Ahmadinejad was to inaugurate an expansion project at the 400,000 barrel per day refinery in the southwestern city of Abadan, the semi-official Fars news agency said.
Ahmadinejad was not harmed and Iran's TV station broadcast a live feed showing him speaking to officials at a local hall in Abadan.
Firefighters quickly extinguished the blaze, the reports said.
During his speech shown on state TV from Abadan, Ahmadinejad slammed the country's enemies. "The hopes of Iran's enemies in imposing pressure through restrictions on the sale of oil products have turned into a complete disappointment," he said.
He also condemned Washington's support of dictatorial regimes, insisting that dictators all over the globe are supported by the US. “Anywhere there is a dictator, he is supported by you ... he is your stooge,” Ahmadinejad said. He added that the US had devised a scheme for every single Arab country in the region and said Washington used countries to reach its objectives but pushed them aside once it achieved its goals.