Iran says it's not interfering in Iraq

July 13, 2011 at 8:19 AM
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TEHRAN, July 13 (UPI) -- Iran's defense minister said Wednesday U.S. allegations Iran is interfering in neighboring Iraq demonstrate the United States' failure in the country.

Brig. Gen. Ahmad Vahidi told Iran's Fars News Agency charges his country is helping Iraqi insurgents are "baseless."

Vahidi said the United States is merely trying to sow discord among countries in the region, CNN reported.

His remarks follow comments by U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who became the latest U.S. official to accuse Iran of supplying weapons to insurgents targeting U.S. troops.

"We are very concerned about Iran and weapons they are providing to extremists here in Iraq," Panetta said in Bagdad Monday. "In June, we lost a hell of a lot of Americans."

Earlier this month Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen accused Iran of playing "an outsized role."

"Iran is very directly supporting extremist Shia groups (in Iraq), which are killing our troops," he said.

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