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Tags: Iran | gulf | missile | plans

Iran Mocks U.S. Gulf Missile Shield Plans

Tuesday, 02 February 2010 09:13 AM EST

TEHRAN — Parliament speaker Ali Larijani Tuesday slammed plans by the US to beef up defences in the Gulf against potential Iranian missile attacks, insisting the Islamic republic is no threat to its neighbours.

"America's new puppet show for protecting and implementing security in the region is nothing but a new political trick to pave the way for its presence at others' expense," Larijani said in comments to the house carried by the state broadcaster.

"American officials do not realise that they are the problems in the region. The more equipment you bring in, the more it worries the countries where they are deployed," he added.

"Has Iran ever committed any aggression against any neighbours or the region?" he asked.

Larijani was responding to reports that the US administration is placing specialised ships with missile-targeting capabilities off Iran's coast, and anti-missile systems in at least four Gulf states -- Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, meanwhile, accused the West of seeking to weaken Gulf countries in a meeting Tuesday with visiting Qatari crown prince Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani.

"Westerners do not want the region to be secure or the regional countries to have friendly ties," he was quoted as saying by the state broadcaster.

"They have always tried to keep the region's countries weak. Their life depends on creating division and insecurity," he said. But "fortunately there is a common perception by Tehran and Qatar of the enemies' plots."

Iranian officials have carried out frequent war games in the Gulf and threatened to hit Western targets if Iran's nuclear sites come under attack by the United States or Israel.

Iran is locked in a standoff with the West over its controversial nuclear programme, which many world powers believe is masking a weapons drive. Iran has vehemently denied this.

Copyright © 2010 AFP. All rights reserved.

© Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Tuesday, 02 February 2010 09:13 AM
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