Iran's Ahmadinejad tells US, Britain to not interfere

Iran Materials 21 June 2009 15:43 (UTC +04:00)

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told the United States and Britain on Sunday to stop interfering in the Islamic Republic's internal affairs after its June 12 presidential election, the ISNA news agency said, according to Reuters.

Many Western countries and rights groups have criticised the election, which was won by Ahmadinejad according to official figures, and its aftermath. His main opponent Mirhossein Mousavi says the vote was rigged. The government denies the charge.

"Definitely by hasty remarks you will not be placed in the circle of friendship with the Iranian nation. Therefore I advise you to correct your interfering stances," Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying in a meeting with clerics and scholars.

Ahmadinejad, who often rails against the West, was directing his remark at U.S. President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, ISNA said.

Obama, who has been trying to mend ties with Iran since taking office in January, has urged Tehran to "stop all violent and unjust actions against its own people".

Britain's Foreign Secretary David Miliband said in a statement, "I reject categorically the idea that the protesters in Iran are manipulated or motivated by foreign countries."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the Iranian leadership must allow peaceful protests and recount votes.

Ahmadinejad said Western countries wanted to belittle Iran's position after the election but that they had made a mistake.

"Definitely, recent events will add to the Islamic Republic of Iran's greatness and might," Ahmadinejad said.

In an address to foreign diplomats in Tehran broadcast live on state television, Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki earlier sharply criticised Britain's "interfering remarks" about the election and also hit out at Germany and France.