Khamenei slams Hillary for spreading 'lies'
Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei lashed out at US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton yesterday, saying she had spread "lies" against the Islamic republic during a tour of the Gulf.
"Those who have turned the Persian Gulf into an arms depot in order to milk regional countries for money have now dispatched their official to go around the Persian Gulf and spread lies against Iran," Khamenei said referring to Clinton at a meeting with visitors from the northwestern city of Tabriz.
Clinton wrapped up her visit on Tuesday to the Gulf where she drummed up support for new round of UN sanctions against Tehran for pressing ahead with its sensitive uranium enrichment programme in defiance of repeated Security Council ultimatums.
During her trip, Clinton said that Iran was moving towards a "military dictatorship" and that there was no "evidence" to support Tehran's claim that its nuclear programme was entirely peaceful.
Clinton's tour of Qatar and Saudi Arabia aimed to isolate Iran from its Arab neighbours and to put pressure on Tehran's ally Beijing to drop its resistance to UN sanctions targeting mainly Iran's Revolutionary Guards.
Last week, Iran began enriching uranium to 20 percent purity, which Washington and other world powers say adds to evidence it is seeking a nuclear weapon.
Tehran denies the charge, insisting its goal is peaceful nuclear energy and research.
On Tuesday, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad adopted a twin-track approach warning world powers against imposing sanctions but suggesting that Iran could suspend its enrichment of uranium to 20 percent purity.
"If anybody seeks to create problems for Iran, our response will not be like before. Something in response will be done which will make them (the world powers) regret" their move, Ahmadinejad told a Tehran news conference.