03/13/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Mohammed Khatami Almost Attacked By Angry Mob At Anniversary Celebration

An angry, stick-wielding mob tried to attack Iran's ex-president Mohammed Khatami during a celebration marking the 30th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, the Times of London reports. Khatami had recently announced he would run in June's presidential election.

During the revolutionary celebrations, attackers waving sticks approached the cleric, shouting "Death to Khatami. We do not want American government."

According to Mr Khatami's Baran Foundation, the attackers were repelled by his own supporters, who chanted, "Khatami, Khatami, we support you."

Mr Khatami was escorted from the street by his bodyguards who took him to shelter in a nearby building.

Earlier during the celebrations, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced that he would welcome talks with US President Barack Obama, AP reports.

Iran's president said Tuesday the world was "entering an era of dialogue" and that his country would welcome talks with its longtime adversary, the United States, if they are based on mutual respect.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's announcement during a rally celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Iranian Revolution comes a day after President Barack Obama said his administration was looking for opportunities to engage Iran and pledged to rethink United States' relationship with Tehran.

"The Iranian nation is ready for talks (with the U.S.) but in a fair atmosphere with mutual respect," Ahmadinejad told hundreds of thousands of Iranians at the rally, which marked the 1979 toppling of the U.S.-backed shah that brought hard-line clerics to power.