16/02/2012 06:14 GMT | Updated 16/02/2012 07:15 GMT

Sean Penn's Falkland Islands Comments Branded 'Idiotic' By Veteran Simon Weston (PICTURES)

Sean Penn has been branded an "idiot" by war veteran Simon Weston for his attack on Britain's claim to the Falkland Islands.

The Hollywood actor launched a tirade against British "colonialism" earlier this week as the row between Argentina and Britain over the sovereignty of the islands deepens.

Penn said the deployment of Prince William to the islands as a search and rescue pilot was "unthinkable" and that dialogue was the only way to solve the dispute.

But Weston, who fought and was injured in the 1982 war, told The Sun newspaper that Penn should keep his "gob shut".

"People give far to much credence to actors," he told The Sun. "Sean Penn is living, breathing proof of the fact that just because you are famous doesn't mean you know what you are talking about."

He added: "Penn is an idiot. It's bad for people to think you're a fool."

Weston, who is running to be a police commissioner in Wales, said the US actor should focus on issues closer to home before trying his hand at international relations.

"Hawaii is as American as a kebab but they claim it because they wanted a giant naval base there. Does Penn complain about that?" he said.

On Thursday it emerged that universities minister David Willets would visit the islands. While on Wednesday the Commons defence committee confirmed MPs would make the trip to the South Atlantic this year.

Penn made his comments on the dispute during a tour of the region in his role as Haitian ambassador-at-large, see pictures of his tour below: