Iran's supreme leader accused the United States on Wednesday of war-mongering and of turning the Gulf into an "arms depot".
Last month, U.S. officials said the United States had expanded land- and sea-based missile defence systems in and around the Gulf -- a waterway crucial for global oil supplies --.
In an apparent reference to U.S. Secratary of State Hillary Clinton's visit to the Middle East earlier this week, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the Americans had dispatched "their agent" to the region to accuse Iran's Islamic system of government.
"But no one believes these lies because they know that America is the real war-mongering state. They have turned the Persian Gulf into an arms depot," Khamenei said.
"They invaded Afghanistan and Iraq and are now accusing the Islamic Republic. Everybody knows that the Islamic Republic is for peace and brotherhood among all Islamic states in the world," Khamenei said, state television reported.
Clinton accused on Monday Iran's Revolutionary Guards of driving the country towards military dictatorship and said that Iran should be targeted in any new U.N. sanctions.
During her three-day visit to Qatar and Saudi Arabia, Clinton denied the United States planned to attack Iran and claimed Washington wanted dialogue with Tehran but could not "stand idly by" while Iran pursued a suspected nuclear weapons programme.
Iran, the world's fifth-largest crude oil exporter, says its nuclear facilities are part of a peaceful energy programme. But the West accuses Iran of covertly trying to build nuclear bombs.
Iran faces growing Western calls for a new round of targeted U.N. sanctions against it after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad last week ordered the start of higher-grade uranium production.
Khamenei, Iran's top authority, said the Iranian people had punched its enemies "in the mouth" by turning out in large numbers to rallies last week marking the 31st anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution.
Khamenei accused "arrogant powers" of opposing the Islamic Republic because of its call for justice in the world.
"We should mourn the day when the global imperialism praises us," he said.
ReutersLast Mod: 17 Şubat 2010, 21:39