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Salehi warns US of involvement in Persian Gulf
BySTEWART STOGEL
October 2, 2012 02:55
Iranian FM also accuses US, Israel of creating "distorted" image of Tehran, insists the Islamic Republic is key to regional stability.
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi [file]

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi 370 (R). (photo credit:Andreas Manolis / Reuters)

NEW YORK – Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi warned the Obama administration against a deeper involvement in the Persian Gulf and insisted that Tehran not Washington was key to stability in the region,

Speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York Monday evening, Salehi insisted that Washington and Jerusalem were intentionally providing a "distorted" picture of the Islamic Republic to the international community.



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"Iran is part of the solution to all of the regional crises... There is too much Islamophobia, Iranopobia by too many countries. This fear industry is a complicated one based on a belief that these nations are superior and Muslims inferior... It reduces the Iranian nuclear project to simple couple of series of baseless allegations...Iran is the anchor of stability, of security and peace in the Middle East."

Salehi insisted that Tehran has no need to provoke any military confrontations.

No other nation's security is as linked to the Persian Gulf as Iran's. Our imports and exports rely on a secure Persian Gulf. Our security is a collective one, a comprehensive one in which military, economic, cultural and environmental dimensions are all taken into account."

Click here for full Jpost coverage of the Iranian threat

The Iranian foreign minister took aim at Jerusalem's campaign to thwart Iran's effort to pursue its nuclear research program, saying it is is doomed to failure.

"All extra-regional disputes that are based on the artificial threat of Iran in the Persian Gulf are doomed to failure."

Israel, he continued, "is the major player impeding the establishment of a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East," describing Iran as a responsible player with "legitimate security concerns."

He insisted that the punitive efforts recently aimed at Iran are no more than a "commodity" by outside players and "their local clients."

Referring to the speech in the General Assembly by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, the foreign minister warned: "The statements on attacking Iran, for whatever reason there may be, is against international peace and security. Why such statements are made is beyond explanation."

Salehi then speculated: "Attacking Iran is is a response to an identity and security crisis in Israel and absolutely for domestic political consumption."

The moves by Washington and Jerusalem are an attempt to divert attention from the Palestinian efforts to achieve independence, he added.

On the nuclear controversy, Salehi insisted it is all of US and Israel's making.

"The Israeli (government) clans are war beaters who use the pretext of an Iranian nuclear threat for political games and gains," he said.

Salehi disputed Israeli allegations that Tehran has been obstructing the IAEA's monitoring of Iran's nuclear facilities.

"Iran, as a member of the NPT (Non-Proliferation Treaty) is working with the IAEA and negotiating with the [P5+1] to address their nuclear concerns."

Israel, he insists is the "real problem."

"Israel is not a party to any disarmament conventions including the NPT and is the major impediment in having a nuclear free zone in the Middle East. Having at least 100 nuclear bombs in its arsenal, Israel in fact is the most significant source of instability and insecurity in the region and indeed a liability for American foreign policy."

The US-UN mission and the Israeli mission did not offer any reaction to Salehi's allegations.
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