Newly re-elected Iranian President Hassan Rouhani gestures after delivering a televised speech in the capital Tehran on May 20, 2017. A portrait of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is seen in the background. (Xinhua/AFP Photo)
TEHRAN, May 21 (Xinhua) -- An Iranian army general on Sunday refuted the comments by the U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson for urging a policy shift in Tehran's conduct during President Hassan Rouhani's second term, Tasnim news agency reported.
The only way to peace in the Middle East is a pull-out of the U.S. forces from the region, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Brig. Gen. Massoud Jazayeri said.
During his Saudi Arabia visit, Tillerson said Saturday that he hopes the re-election of Rouhani would prompt changes to Tehran's approach to "terrorism and human rights."
Tillerson urged Iran's re-elected president to dismantle the alleged "network of terrorism" and to end ballistic missile tests.
He made the remarks at a news conference with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir in Riyadh.
In the reaction, Jazayeri urged the United States for what he called an end to the "aggressive and terrorist operations against independent states" by the assistance of "reactionary regimes" in the region.
Besides, no factor could hinder Iran's defense programs, he said, describing the boost of Iran's missile defense systems as a top priority for the Islamic republic.