U.S. Amplifies Danger as Pretext to Aid Israel, Iran Says

Iran’s Foreign Ministry said the U.S. is amplifying threats in the Middle East to justify its backing of Israel and continue selling weapons.

The comments by Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast to reporters came after U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel described plans to sell Israel advanced weaponry, as a “very clear signal to Iran” about the possibility of an Israeli military strike against its nuclear facilities.

“Israel and the U.S. see the threat of Iran in exactly the same” way, Hagel said on April 21, on his way to Israel.

“U.S. arms contracts and ready help to the Zionist regime isn’t a new matter,” Mehmanparast said in Tehran today. Hagel’s comments “are justification to overplay the danger, which the U.S. has fueled in the region, and the ultimate goal is to sell weapons.”

The U.S. questions Iran’s assertion that its nuclear program is designed to stimulate electricity generation and medical research. Israel has said Iran must be pressured to curb its nuclear program with a “credible military threat.” The U.S. and Israel have both said a military solution may be needed.

“Our country is powerful enough to defend its rights and its sovereignty,” Mehmanparast said. “These governments should stop psychological moves launched against our nation, which will only make our people more resilient.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Ladane Nasseri in Dubai at lnasseri@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net

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