After WikiLeaks released 250,000 U.S. State Department cables that showed multiple Arab leaders privately urging action against Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called the WikiLeaked documents "invalid" and unreliable at a press conference in Iran this morning.
From the Islamic Republic News Agency, Iran's state-run news outlet:
Tehran, Nov 29, IRNA - President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in a press conference here on Monday that the documents released by WikiLeaks website are invalid.
'They lack legal value and releasing such documents is a mischief,' he noted.
Ahmadinejad also said Iran considers all regional countries its friend and brother and such mischievous acts will never affect Iran's ties with them.
Some 250 Iranian and foreign journalists are covering Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's press conference on Monday afternoon.
And The Washington Times' Ben Birnbaum reports the Ahmadinejad accused the U.S. or orchestrating the leak:
"The material was not leaked but rather released in an organized way," Mr. Ahmadinejad said, adding that the WikiLeaks "game" is "not worth commenting upon and that no one would waste their time reviewing them."
"The U.S. administration released them, and based on them, they pass judgment. ... [The documents] have no legal value and will not have the political effect they seek," he said.
It's worth pointing out that Ahmadinejad and Iran's revolutionary government have a history of blaming the U.S. for intervening in Iran and trying to make the government look bad. Ahmadinejad accused the U.S. of manufacturing dissent and protests after Iran's election last year, the results of which were considered by many to have been rigged in Ahmadinejad's favor. It's also worth noting that such fears are perhaps easy to understand, given that the U.S. supported an overthrow of Iran's democratically elected leader, Mohammad Mossadeq, in 1953.
Of all the individual tidbits in the WikiLeaks document dump—and, to be sure, the massive compilation of cables is being scoured by most news organizations for one-off, salacious scoops—one of the first macro points to emerge has been that Arab leaders do not like Iran. As Jeffrey Goldberg and Raymond Bonner note on this site, multiple Arab leaders privately expressed anxieties over Iran and urged action against it.
Presumably, those Arab leaders aren't too excited about these complaints being made public. But while the U.S. is supposed to be losing the most face in all of this, Iran potentially lost more.
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