TEHRAN (FNA)- Visiting Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Sunday rejected the US accusations that his country is supporting Shiite militias who fight US troops in Iraq.
The US practice of “accusing others without evidences will only bring it more problems in the region and it would not be able to solve the problems. They (the Americans) should accept the fact that the Iraqi people do not like the Americans,” Ahmadinejad said in joint press conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.
Analysts said his visit shows Iran’s growing influence in the region and his presence in Baghdad as a guest of the Iraqi government undercuts Washington’s assertions that Tehran is fuelling violence with support for local Shiite militias.
Ahmadinejad had also earlier taken a swipe at the United States, which has more than 150,000 troops in Iraq, saying it was responsible for a rise in terrorism in the region.
“Six years ago there were none of these terrorists. When the others stepped foot in this country and region we find a foothold for the terrorists,” he told reporters after meeting Shiite political leader Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim.
Elsewhere during the press conference with the Iraqi premier, Ahmadinejad said that he and Maliki discussed a wide range of issues, like bilateral relations, energy, transportation, tourism, investment and security.
For his part, Maliki said that the outcome of the visit would be encouraging other neighboring countries to visit Iraq.
Ahmadinejad arrived here on Sunday for a landmark visit, the first for an Iranian president since Iran’s Islamic Revolution in 1979.