Iran says Bush’s accusations “words without value”

TEHRAN (Reuters) – Iran denounced on Monday as “words without value” President George W. Bush’s remarks that the Islamic state was threatening security around the world by backing militants.

Speaking in Abu Dhabi on Sunday, Bush said Iran was the world’s top sponsor of terrorism and accused it of undermining peace by supporting the Hezbollah guerrilla group in Lebanon, Palestinian Islamist group Hamas and Shi’ite militants in Iraq.

“Bush should understand that the hatred towards his policies exists … it has real and logical roots,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini was quoted as saying by state radio.

“Bush’s remarks display his desperation and disappointment because of his failures in the region … He is trying to divert attention from his failed policies,” he said, adding Bush’s comments were “repeated words without value”.

Iran blames sectarian violence in Iraq on the U.S.-led invasion to topple Saddam Hussein in 2003 and has repeatedly called on the United States to withdraw its forces.

Tehran and Washington are at odds over Iran’s nuclear work, which the West fears is a cover to build nuclear weapons, and Washington is pushing for a third set of sanctions on Iran for refusing to halt enrichment work, as demand by the United Nations.

Tehran says it wants nuclear technology for civilian purposes.

(Writing by Parisa Hafezi, Editing by Dominic Evans)