Iranian official: U.S. seeks to mask failure in Iraq by scapegoating Iran

Iran's ambassador to the United Nations said in a commentary published Thursday that the United States was trying to use Iran as its "scapegoat" for the failed policy in Iraq and called on the U.S. to cooperate to end violence in the war-torn nation.

The United States, rather than learn from its mistakes in Iraq, is fabricating Iranian activity in Iraq, in a bid to bolster support for its policies in the region, Javad Zarif said in a commentary appearing in Thursday's edition of the New York Times. But such a coalition, even if it succeeds, will ultimately "prove particularly futile, dangerous to the region as a whole and internally destabilizing for Iraq."

"By promoting such a policy, the United States is fanning the flames of sectarianism just when they most need to be quelled," said Zarif, arguing that Washington ignored the advice of regional players, including Iran, that war with Iraq would only serve to destabilize the Middle East and embolden extremists.

Now the United States is reaping "the expected bitter fruits of its ill-conceived adventurism," he said.

"But rather than face these unpleasant facts, the United States administration is trying to sell an escalated version of the same failed policy. It does this by trying to make Iran its scapegoat and fabricating evidence of Iranian activities in Iraq," he said.

The ambassador's comments come amid escalating rhetoric from Washington and Tehran, reports AP.

President George W. Bush has ordered American troops to act against Iranians suspected of being involved in the Iraqi insurgency and has deployed a second aircraft carrier to the Gulf areas a warning to Tehran. The U.N. Security Council has imposed sanctions because of Iran's refusal to cease uranium enrichment, and is due to consider strengthening later this month.

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