LONDON - Britain protested furiously on Tuesday to Iran over comments by a leading Iranian politician that the London bombings might have been deliberately carried out by the British government.
One possible reason for the July 7 attacks, in which at least 56 people died, "is that the British government itself created this situation", Ahmad Janati, a cleric who chairs the powerful Guardians Council, said Friday in a nationally broadcast sermon.
"These allegations are insulting and ridiculous," a spokesman for the Foreign Office in London said in a strongly-worded statement.
"It is a shame that a recent official letter of condolence over the bombings from the Iranian embassy in London and condemnations by Iranian government spokesmen in Tehran have been followed by such irresponsible statements," the spokesman said.
The Foreign Office had "protested strongly" to the Iranian ambassador in London, he added.
Janati suggested in his sermon that the British government might have carried out the bombings, and that the United States also perpetrated the September 11, 2001 attacks, to justify foreign wars.
"To understand who is behind these events, you need to look at who profits from them," he said.
"It's the Americans who profited from September 11 and today it's the British who are profiting from these attacks.
"They say that it's to fight terrorism that they have to go to Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere, and that's how they justify their presence in those countries."