Iran has lashed out at US Secretary of State John Kerry for accusing Tehran of destabilizing the Middle East, saying Washington needs to stop supporting terrorist groups and pull out of the region if it seeks to help regional security.
“If they [the US officials] really intend to create stability in the region, they should leave the region and stop supporting terrorists,” Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan told reporters on Saturday.
Washington has no choice but to stop interfering in the internal affairs of other countries and put an end to their presence in other regions if it seeks welfare, stability and peace in the world, he added.
“If John Kerry thinks about these issues for a few minutes, he would no longer utter such nonsense and foolish words," the Iranian minister pointed out.
Dehqan’s remarks came after the US secretary of state on Thursday accused Iran of conducting "destabilizing actions" in the Middle East.
Speaking in a joint press conference with Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, Kerry said the US calls on Iran to “constructively join in the efforts to make peace… and to work toward a cessation of hostilities."
In response to Kerry’s remarks, Dehqan said the US statesmen have always sought to put a cap on Iran’s missile and defense capabilities.
“The recent remarks by their secretary of state show the US inability and frustration in the face of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s defense capabilities,” he said.
Washington can no longer back its allies
Elsewhere in his remarks, Dehqan said the US is no longer capable of supporting its allies.
"They (Americans) are trying to make regional countries dependent on them through the sale of weapons and spreading this notion that these countries’ survival depends on implementing the US policies,” he said.
The Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Thursday that Saudi Arabia used US-made cluster bombs in two recent airstrikes on a busy market in Yemen, which killed scores of civilians.
The HRW said that its investigators traveled to the northwestern Yemeni town of Mustaba in Hajjah Province the day after the attack and found fragments of a GBU-31 satellite-guided bomb as well as its guidance equipment supplied by the US.
The US has backed the Saudi military campaign in Yemen, which started on March 26, 2015. In November 2015, Washington approved a USD 1.29 billion rearming program for Riyadh, including thousands of smart bombs.
Nearly 9,400 people, among them over 2,230 children, have been killed and over 16,000 others injured since the onset of the Saudi military raids on Yemen.