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Iran slams Pompeo’s ‘terror sponsor' label

The embassy also slammed what it called 'unfounded accusations and fabrications by the US Administration'
US secretary of state Mike Pompeo in New Delhi on June 26, 2019.
US secretary of state Mike Pompeo in New Delhi on June 26, 2019.

Our Special Correspondent   |   New Delhi   |   Published 27.06.19, 07:19 PM

The Iranian embassy on Thursday registered its protest over Mike Pompeo’s comments about Tehran, saying the US secretary of state’s categorisation of the Gulf country as the “world’s largest state sponsor of terror” was a “baseless” allegation aimed at extending hostilities in the region.

The embassy also slammed what it called “unfounded accusations and fabrications by the US Administration”.

Pompeo’s comments had come earlier in the day as he addressed the media along with his Indian counterpart, foreign minister S. Jaishankar, in the national capital.

“Iran is the world’s largest state sponsor of terror, and we know the Indian people, how they have suffered from terror around the world,” Pompeo had said. “So I think there is a shared understanding of threat… not only the threat in the narrow confines of the Middle East, but the threat that this terror regime poses to the entire world.”

Jaishankar made no mention of Iran’s alleged terror links in his public remarks at the media conference, focusing instead on India’s energy security and the importance of ensuring that global energy supplies remain predictable and affordable.

The Iranian mission responded to Pompeo’s comments in a statement. “These allegations (are) nothing than continuation of forging unfounded accusations and fabrications by the US Administration specially State Secretary Pompeo to push for more hostilities, instability and confrontation in the region,” it said.

What Pompeo said also runs counter to the Indian perspective, which views Pakistan as the biggest state sponsor of terror.

Iran also claimed it was a victim of terrorism — and had lost 17,000 citizens to acts of terror committed by the “US-supported terrorist group (MKO/PMOI)” and by being at the “forefront of fighting groups such as (the) ISIS”.

The mission’s statement further accused the US administration of jeopardising world peace with its “miscalculations” and wrong understanding of situations involving other nations and international and regional issues.

This has “aggravated the situation between the US and the rest of the world”, the mission said, adding that “in following this approach, the US is openly sowing seeds of hostility against the peaceful people of Iran through maximum economic pressures in particular unfair sanctions”.

The embassy described the American sanctions on Iran as “a brutal act of terrorism” and said: “The US has defined its interest in generating and aggravating regional disputes, and exacerbating conflict and insecurity to fuel an arms race and create bigger markets for its weapons.”

The statement listed what Iran publicly — and many other nations in the region privately — see as American mistakes that have resulted in West Asia plunging from one crisis to another.

“During the last decades, US interventions in the region have disturbed the natural harmony, domestic dynamics and ecosystem of communities in the region. The rise of extremist groups like (the) Taliban, Al-Qaeda (and the) ISIS is contemporary demonstration of US adventurism. The crises in our region, including in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Yemen, are rooted in occupation, illegal military interventions, hegemonic and social engineering policies of the United States,” it said.

The embassy also iterated that Teheran stood for “good-neighbourliness” and peace and stability in the highly sensitive Persian Gulf region.

Tehran, the statement said, believes that its national security interests can only be secured through dialogue, confidence-building measures and multilateral cooperation within the region.

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