The Gulf states which neighbor Iran are worried about the Islamic Republic's "aggressive behavior" and support international sanctions against the country's regime, Reuters quoted US Defense Secretary Robert Gates as saying on Friday, following visits to Gulf states.

"You can see the general support in the region for applying the sanctions and for doing what we can to make the sanctions effective and try to influence the Iranian government to walk away from their nuclear weapons program," Gates said while returning to the US after stops in Oman and the United Arab Emirates.

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"There clearly is concern, not just in this region but elsewhere, about Iran's overall aggressive behavior with respect to Hizbullah and Lebanon and other places around the world," he said. "And I think that's a broadly shared concern."

On Thursday, following a meeting with Abu Dhabi crown prince, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahayan, Gates said the two discussed the need to keep up the diplomatic and economic pressure on the regime in Teheran.

 "We talked about our bilateral relationship, particularly our military-to-military relationship, as well as the desirability of greater multilateral cooperation in the Gulf on air and missile defense and maritime surveillance," Gates said.

"We obviously talked about Iran and the importance of the sanctions and keeping the diplomatic and economic pressure on," he added.

Gates also discussed the importance of the Gulf states help in keeping terror-base Yemen from spiraling out of control.

"We talked about Yemen and ... the concerns we have about Yemen and President Saleh (Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh) ... as he takes on the various challenges there," said Gates. "The key is getting in there before there's a crisis with economic assistance, with building partnership capacity," he said. "I think that both the UAE and Oman are engaged in these activities, these development projects. Other countries are as well."

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