Iran media blames humiliating World Cup loss on protests
(From Guardian, May 9, 2014)
Iran’s media have issued a fresh attack on the US for its actions in Iraq, blaming the country’s embarrassment over its performance at the World Cup on demonstrations by foreign media. The row over the American military’s handling of American embassy employees in Baghdad erupted after a Guardian reporter was shot in the face by an Iraqi police officer and hospitalised.
The media attacks followed warnings by the president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, that he would attack US plans for the presence of 100,000 troops in Syria.
The US military had no diplomatic ties to the Iraqi government after the 2003 war and carried out “a military action in violation of international law” that did not “provide any justification for such a massive military deployment”, Mr Ahmadinejad said.
“They’re acting as we’re doing,” he said, referring to the Americans, not the Iraqis. “They [the Americans] are behaving like the Americans behave.”
On Wednesday, Mr Ahmadinejad, who took power in 2005, said: “It’s really surprising that all this has happened. But it’s really really surprising. This America that has invaded Iraq, that killed and caused destruction in Iraq, has not done anything to us; and this is the USA’s responsibility in the eyes of the world.”
Mr Ahmadinejad was on a visit to Paris and met President Francois Hollande after a meeting with President Barack Obama, who had agreed to send US security personnel to Syria, in an effort to prevent the growth of a Sunni Islamist state.
The remarks in Tehran came as a Guardian correspondent in Iraq was shot by an Iraqi policeman after being mistaken for a CIA employee. The reporter, who was shot in the face by a plainclothes police officer, had been at a news conference in Baghdad when the police officer shot him in the back of the head.
The attack has sparked condemnation from several Western countries, with the Dutch prime minister, Mark Rutte, describing the incident as a “cowardly action” that “doesn’t take