TEHRAN, Iran (AP) – U.S. President George W. Bush’s policies have harmed Washington’s global image and the country needs “wise” leaders to regain its lost credibility, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman said Saturday.
Mohammad Ali Hosseini said Bush’s policies have isolated him both internationally and at home, citing the Republican party’s losses in Congress last November as proof of Bush’s declining popularity.
“Instability in Iraq is the result of wrong policies and incorrect decisions of the U.S. government. This illogical approach of the U.S. government is even disliked by the American people. The elections for Congress were a sign of domestic protest (against Bush),” Iran’s official news agency, IRNA, quoted Hosseini as saying.
“The United States needs wise leaders to regain its lost image,” Hosseini was quoted as saying.
Hosseini’s comments were in response to Bush who on Thursday called Tehran a “destabilizing influence in the Middle East.” The U.S. leader also warned Iran to stop exporting sophisticated explosive devices into Iraq that the U.S. alleges are used in attacks on American troops or “there will be consequences.”
Hosseini did not address the U.S. allegations but said Iran will continue to support the process of government building in Iraq and cooperate with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s government.
During a trip earlier this week to Iran, al-Maliki received strong support from the neighboring country. The Iraqi government, which is backed by the U.S. but closely allied to Iran, has been trying to get the two countries to work together, hoping some cooperation will reduce violence in the war-torn country. The Bush administration had wanted the U.S.-backed Shiite leader to use his close ties with predominantly Shiite Iran to help end what the U.S. says is Tehran’s support for militia that attack American soldiers and Sunni civilians in Iraq.
But the trip appeared to bring no concessions from America’s greatest rival in the region. Instead, Iranian officials used the spotlight to decry American involvement in Iraq, and promote their increasingly close ties to al-Maliki’s government.
Though Iranian officials support al-Maliki, they told the Iraqi leader that only a U.S. pullout would bring peace to his nation.
Iran has denied U.S. charges that it supports militia in Iraq and supplies them with deadly weapons.