TEHRAN, Iran -- Iran says there is no excuse for the United States to continue deploying troops in the Middle East after the killing of Al Qaeda leader Usama bin Laden.

Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman, Ramin Mehmanparast, says the U.S. can no longer send troops to the region under the pretext of fighting terrorism. His comments were reported Monday by Iran's official IRNA news agency.

Iran says it cooperated with the U.S. in fighting terrorism but instead of being rewarded, former President George W. Bush placed Iran in his "axis of evil."

Iran says it has cracked down on Al Qaeda operatives, especially along its border with Afghanistan, but also criticized the U.S. for invading Afghanistan and Iraq.