TEHRAN, Jan. 8 (Mehr News Agency) - Majlis Speaker Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel has described U.S. reports about a confrontation between Iranian speedboats and U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf as "part of a psychological and propaganda campaign against the Islamic Republic."
U.S. defense officials on Sunday accused Iranian naval forces of threatening to blow up U.S. warships in the Strait of Hormuz, a charge Iranian officials vehemently denied.
"We have always shown that we believe in peace and avoiding tension, and we presume that the U.S. media propaganda is part of its psychological and propaganda campaign, which it is continuously conducting against Iran," Haddad-Adel told reporters on Tuesday.
"If one side should charge others of meddling in this region, that side would be Iran, because, unlike the Americans, who came from thousands of kilometers away and stationed their navy ships in the Persian Gulf, we are a natural neighbor of this waterway."
Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad-Ali Hosseini also played down the incident, saying it was an issue of mistaken identity.
"This happens between the two sides every once in a while, and after the two sides identify each other, the issue is resolved."
The incident was "similar to previous ones" that were resolved "once the two sides recognized each other," Hosseini explained.
However, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice described the incident as "provocative" and "dangerous".
"It was provocative, and that kind of provocation is dangerous. I would sincerely hope that the Iranians would refrain from any such activity," Rice told the BBC Arabic service.
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