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U.S. using Persian Gulf incident as propaganda campaign against Iran: Defense Minister

TEHRAN, Jan. 9 (Mehr News Agency) - On Wednesday, Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar dismissed as a propaganda campaign a claim by U.S. navy that Iranian speedboats were threatening to explode U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf.

Najjar said describing a normal procedure as provocative is part of a "project" by the White House to portray Iran as a frightening country.

He added this disinformation campaign in not unrelated to George W. Bush visit to the region.

"What happened in the Strait of Hormoz was quite normal," Najjar told reporters after a cabinet meeting.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran's navy units in the Strait of Hormoz and (Iran's) territorial waters always ask about the identification of passing vessels and ships and this is quite normal," the minister noted.

On Tuesday, Majlis Speaker Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel described U.S. reports about the incident as "part of a psychological and propaganda campaign against the Islamic Republic."

"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.

"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.

Video of the incident provided by Iran

Video of the incident provided by Pentagon

IRGC: US makes hue and cry to achieve its political goals

Tehran, Jan 10, IRNA - IRGC Deputy Commander in charge of Naval Forces Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi said on Thursday that the US administration needs to make hue and cry to achieve its political goals and cover up the failed visit of the US president to the Middle East region.

On Iranian speedboats patrolling in the Persian Gulf, he said it is quite obvious why the Americans try to distort realities through media campaign, he said.

As a routine practice, the IRGC naval boats have always conducted regular patrols in the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf in the past 20 years in conformity with international regulation, he said.

The footages shown by US media are archive material and totally fabricated and the IRGC is to put the real one at the disposal of public media to unveil realities, said Fadavi.

The recorded conversation between Iranian guards and the US warships will be released to public media to enable experts to find out realities, he said.

Based on international maritime regulations enacted in 1982, the littoral states are authorized to monitor travel of ships and warships through their nearby straits, he pointed out.

Simultaneous with current visit of the US president to the Middle East region, Pentagon has launched a media campaign to obtain its sinister goals against Iran, he said, adding that nothing new has occurred and all inspections and control of ships and warships in the Strait of Hormuz are quite normal, he concluded.

... Payvand News - 01/10/08 ... --

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