Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has accused Western countries of plotting to "cause drought" in Iran by using high tech equipment to drain the clouds of raindrops. Moments after the Iranian president made the startling claim at the inauguration of a dam in a central province, it started to rain.
"Western countries have designed plans to cause drought in certain areas of the world, including Iran," Mr Ahmadinejad said in the city of Arak in Markazi province.
"According to reports on climate, whose accuracy has been verified, European countries are using special equipment to force clouds to dump" their water on their continent, he said.
By doing so, "they prevent rain clouds from reaching regional countries, including Iran," Mr Ahmadinejad charged.
Iran has experienced several droughts in recent years.
Mr Ahmadinejad also recalled an article by "a Western politician," whom he did not identify, in which "droughts in some regions spanning from Turkey and Iran to east of Asia are predicted for the next 30 years."
"The regions (referred to in) the article ... include countries whose culture and civilisation frighten the West," Mr Ahmadinejad said in support of his argument.
Iranian leaders claim on a daily basis that Western countries, led by arch-foe United States, devise "plots" to undermine the Islamic republic and to impede its economic and scientific development.
They also accuse world powers of colluding against Iran's national unity, independence, political establishment, culture as well as international relations.
Mr Ahmadinejad is involved in an unprecedented power struggle with the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. He recently refused to obey orders handed down by Ayatollah Khamenei less than two years after the pair formed a powerful political alliance to defeat anti-regime protests that swept the country.