TEHRAN, Iran (CNN) -- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accused the United States of applying a double standard in dealing with terrorism by its lack of action against Kurdish rebels who launch attacks against Turkey from northern Iraq.
Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took a swipe at the U.S. in a call to the president of Turkey.
Ahmadinejad's comment came in a phone conversation with Turkish President Abdullah Gul on the same day Turkey's prime minister said his country would not hesitate to send troops across the Iraq border if needed to pursue the rebels -- formally named the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) -- who are seeking to carve an independent state out of Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey.
The Turkish government -- which so far has restrained itself from undertaking a full-scale military operation amid diplomatic pressure -- wants Iraq to handle the rebels inside Iraqi territory and has been saying it can't wait indefinitely for Iraq to do so.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned Saturday that "whenever an operation is needed to be carried out, we will do that. We do not need to ask anything from anyone for that."
The United States, which believes an offensive will make the unstable region even more volatile, is making attempts to stop such an attack. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will be in Ankara Thursday for bilateral meetings with Erdogan and Turkish President Abdullah Gul.
No Turkish incursion into northern Iraq is expected until after Erdogan meets with President Bush at the White House on November 5.
President Ahmadinejad also made phone calls to Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki Saturday night to offer his country's help in mediating the crisis and he met Sunday with Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan, the Iranian foreign ministry said.
Ahmadinejad, in his call with Gul, took a swipe at the United States' occupation in Iraq, suggesting it was the root cause of Turkey's problems with the rebels.
"Occupiers have prepared ground for disunity and are supporting terrorists with their double standards," a Iranian Foreign Ministry statement quoted Ahmadinejad as saying.
Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, after meeting with Babacan Sunday, said he suspected the United States had "behind the scenes agreements" that made them reluctant to restrain the PKK rebels.
"Nevertheless, I am hoping the United States will mend their ways and help with terrorism in the region," Mottaki said.
Mottaki said that Ahmadinejad, in his call to the Iraqi leaders, "expressed his concern about terrorist actions taking shape in the region and stressed the need to find solutions." E-mail to a friend