As Iranian officials issued threats of revenge after an attack on an Iranian parade Saturday left at least 25 dead and 60 wounded, U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley said Iran has no one to blame but itself.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani accused the United States and its allies of being linked to the attack, Reuters reported.
“All of those small mercenary countries that we see in this region are backed by America,” Rouhani said, according to The New York Times. “It is Americans who instigate them and provide them with necessary means to commit these crimes.”
On Sunday, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard said it will take “deadly and unforgiving revenge in the near future” and that it would track down the attackers “regionally and beyond,” according to The Associated Press.
Haley, who was interviewed Sunday morning by Jake Tapper on CNN, said Iran was looking in the wrong direction.
“You’ve got a lot of rhetoric coming from Rouhani,” Haley said. “The United States condemns any terrorist attack anywhere, period. We’ve always stood by that.”
Haley said the roots of the attacks could be in the Iranian regime’s oppression of its citizens.
“Rouhani needs to look at his own home base. Iranian people are protesting. Every ounce of money that goes into Iran goes into the military. He has oppressed his people for a long time,” Haley said.
“He needs to look at his own base to figure out where that’s coming from. I think the Iranian people have had enough and that’s where all of this is coming from. Having said that, he can blame us all he wants. The thing he needs to do is look in the mirror.”
Haley also noted that Iran has no shortage of enemies in the region who might want to avenge what Iran has done in their countries.
“Every conflict that we have, we see Iran’s fingerprints. Whether it’s in Yemen, Iraq, whether we’re looking at what’s happening in Syria,” she said.
Haley said that the United States wants Iran to change its ways, but is not interested in changing Iran’s government.
“There is no love for Iran here in the United States, and there is no love for the United States in Iran, and both sides are going to go back and forth,” Haley said, noting that there are limits.
“The United States is not looking to do regime change in Iran,” Haley said. “We’re not looking to do regime change anywhere.”
That official line is at variance with comments made by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who serves President Donald Trump as his attorney in the Robert Mueller investigation. Trump has taken a hard line against Iran, imposing sanctions and ripping up the nuclear agreement made with Iran by former President Barack Obama.
“I don’t know when we’re going to overthrow them. It could be in a few days, months, a couple of years. But it’s going to happen,” Giuliani said Saturday during an Iran Uprising Summit held by the Organization of Iranian-American Communities, Reuters reported.
“The people of Iran obviously have now had enough,” Giuliani continued. “The sanctions are working. The currency is going to nothing … these are the kinds of conditions that lead to successful revolution.”