Iran denies US claims on 'missiles menace Europe'

Iran's defence minister denied U.S. assertions that its missiles posed a threat to Europe and said Washington was spreading propaganda.

Iran denies US claims on 'missiles menace Europe'

 

Iran's defence minister on Saturday denied U.S. assertions that its missiles posed a threat to Europe and said Washington was spreading propaganda.

Ahmad Vahidi accused U.S. counterpart, Robert Gates of engaging in "psychological warfare" when he said on Thursday U.S. intelligence showed Iran had "scores or even hundreds" of missiles it could use against Europe.

"Iran's missile capability has been designed and built to defend itself against any military aggression and it does not impose a threat to any country," Vahidi told the students' news agency ISNA.

"America creates propaganda with the aim of spreading its dominance over Europe and finding excuses not to eliminate its nuclear weapons in the region and to put pressure on Russia."

Russia criticised the United States and the European Union for imposing sanctions going well beyond those approved by the U.N. Security Council, comments which Gates said showed Russia's "schizophrenic" approach to Iran.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad severely criticised Moscow last month when it became clear Russia would back Washington's push for widened U.N. sanctions, but Iranian rhetoric since then has softened.

Vahidi said the United States aimed to humiliate its former Cold War adversary, which has significant trade ties with Iran.

"America ... tries to humiliate Russia by creating regional disputes and straining regional relationships to undermine Russia's position in the region," he said. "It is the consequence of trusting a government which is not trustworthy."

Iran, the world's No. 5 oil producer, says its nuclear fuel enrichment programme is a peaceful effort to generate more electricity for its rapidly growing population.

But its refusal to stop refining uranium in exchange for trade and diplomatic benefits on offer has led the West to suspect it is after nuclear weapons -- a concern which has brought about four sets of United Nations sanctions against Tehran since 2006.

Reuters

Güncelleme Tarihi: 19 Haziran 2010, 18:41
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