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Iran sending wrong message by appointing Vahidi as minister: US

world Updated: Sep 04, 2009 16:56 IST

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The US on Friday said Iran has taken a "step backward" and sent a "wrong message" by appointing Ahmad Vahidi, a suspect in a terror attack, as the country's defence minister.

Commenting on the appointment of Vahidi, who is wanted by Interpol for an attack on a Jewish charity centre in Argentina, Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs, PJ Crowley told reporters at the daily briefing, "We, the United States, have been awaiting a message from Iran, a message that they want to shift take a new approach, take a fresh approach".

"We have been hoping that they would be willing to engage the United States and the international community to help to move forward, to resolve the questions that we have about their behaviour, and including their well-known state sponsorship of terrorism," he said.

In response to a question on appointment of Vahidi as the new Iranian Defence Minister, Crowley said, "We find today's action disturbing, and we think that for Iran, it is sending precisely the wrong message".

"We certainly support Argentina's efforts to bring justice to the perpetrators of the 1994 terrorist bombing of the Argentine-Israeli Mutual Association in Buenos Aires," he said.

"But unfortunately, rather than taking a step forward to engage the US and the international community, Iran on Friday is taking a step backward by putting into a high office a well-known individual suspected of participation in a terrorist act," Crowley said.