President Downplays Allegations about Iran’s Regional Presence

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has hit back at claims raised about the Islamic Republic’s regional presence and defensive power, vowing that the country will continue to pursue its interests in the region.

Speaking in a Monday conference in Tehran, Rouhani said those who raise allegations about Iran’s presence in the region and its defensive power aim to evade responsibility for their role in the destruction of the Middle East.

“Who is responsible for so much destruction in the Middle East? Who did devastate Iraq and help the terrorists? And who did create all of them?” Rouhani asked.

“They [Europeans] say they like to negotiate with us. Alright, come here and talk. You will see who loses the most.”

“We ask certain countries: On the day when we were innocently fighting against aggressors [in the 1980s], who did you give weapons to? To us or to the aggressor?”

“When our people were under fire of enemy’s artillery, bombs, and missiles, did you give us a single air defence weapon?”

“At that time, we sent a broken European-made anti-aircraft gun to Europe for overhaul; however, they not only refused to repair it for us, but they even did not send the broken weapon back to us and said you are in the middle of a war and we cannot do it. Now they want to negotiate with us on military weapons,” he noted.

“Don’t trust such allegations. We know how to respond whenever necessary,” he added, vowing that the country will continue to pursue its interests in the region within this framework.

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