Iran rejected Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's charge that Iran is becoming a military dictatorship, accusing Clinton and the U.S. of spreading mistruths to distract from its own behavior in the Middle East.

The Iranian Revolutionary Guard displayed a ballistic missile in front of a picture of late revolutionary founder Ayatollah Khomeini, in front of his mausoleum, during a military parade in September 2009. (Vahid Salemi / AP Photo)

By Frank James

In a reaction unlikely to surprise anyone, Iran rejected Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's assertion that it is transforming into a military dictatorship because of the growing influence of the Revolutionary Guard

And in the kind of tit-for-tat name-calling typically found on playgrounds, Iran sought to deflect the charge back onto its accuser, at least according to Reuters.

Reuters reported the following based on its reading of a report by Iran's ISNA news agency:

"They themselves are involved in a sort of military dictatorship and have practically ignored the realities and the truths in the region," Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said, according to ISNA news agency.

Reuters may be picking up something in the original Persian version of the ISNA report. I didn't see this accusation of the U.S. itself being a kind of military dictatorship in the English translation of a report about Mottaki's reaction to Clinton.

Here's an excerpt of a report in English on the ISNA website:

TEHRAN (ISNA)-Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki criticized the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's remarks on Iran's civil situation.
The US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has claimed that Iran is moving towards a "military dictatorship."
The US has taken a wrong approach for finding solutions on Middle Eastern issues and it is continuing its wrong approaches, Mottaki said adding the US has ignored regional realities and it is fueling tension and insecurity in the region.
Also regarding Iran's stance on Clinton's remarks Mottaki said, "we are sorry that Mrs. Clinton is trying to cover the truth behind her stance and the US stance under a series of unreal words and rhetoric and move region's public opinion towards wrong issues."
"We regard these methods as a new fraud, although its nature is manifest to aware people and regional governments."
He also pointed out to the US government's successive failures in the region and said, "unfortunately, the failed approaches followed by the US officials on Gaza Strip, Lebanon, Afghanistan and the US economic downturn have forced them to show another image of their deceiving policies through creating foreign crisis in the form of soft war against independent and democratic countries."

categories: Iran

8:35 - February 16, 2010