February 16, 2010 / 1:32 PM / 10 years ago

Ahmadinejad not taking Clinton comments "seriously"

TEHRAN, Feb 16 (Reuters) - President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad dismissed on Tuesday U.S. accusations that Iran was moving toward a military dictatorship, saying the U.S. military budget was 80 times larger than that of the Islamic Republic.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Monday that the United States believed Iran’s Revolutionary Guards were driving the country towards military dictatorship and should be targeted in any new U.N. sanctions.

“We don’t take her comments seriously,” Ahmadinejad told a televised news conference, adding that the entire Iranian population of more than 70 million were protecting Iran’s independence and its Islamic revolution.

He said the United States had some 300,000 troops stationed in the Middle East and was involved in wars in the region.

“These comments she (Clinton) is making are not wise,” Ahmadinejad added. (Reporting by Reza Derakhshi; writing by Fredrik Dahl; editing by David Stamp)

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