Iran refutes US defense chief's allegation
Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi has dismissed the recent allegations by the US secretary of defense against the Islamic Republic.
Vahidi made the remarks at the closing ceremony of the first Strategic Navy Conference in the Iranian capital Tehran on Tuesday, IRNA reported.
The new US defense chief Leon Panetta, who is on an official visit to Iraq, claimed on Monday that Washington is "very concerned about Iran and the weapons they're providing to extremists in Iraq."
The Iranian commander said that the US hegemony in the region has come to an end, and such remarks indicate Washington's political defeat.
Vahidi went on to say that the United States tries to sow discord among the countries of the region, but such attempts are doomed to failure due to their wrong interpretation of the regional events.
Earlier in the day, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast described the accusations as a "big lie."
Mehmanparast said that Washington was making desperate efforts to find a way to extend its stay in the region "since the Americans are facing a widespread wave of opposition by the Iraqi people, government and [political] parties, and they must leave Iraq by the end of 2011 and Afghanistan by the end of 2014."
On Monday, Iran's Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi also rejected Panetta's allegations.
"The international community and world public opinion are well aware that Iran as a responsible country has always behaved in a way [that has seen] its duties carried out well," Salehi said.