(photo credit: AP)
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad used his speech in meeting of Iraq's neighbors, plus Egypt and Bahrain on Saturday to call on Islamic nations to mobilize against Israel.
"The fundamental and rooted problem of the Islamic world is the existence of the Zionist regime. The Islamic world has to mobilize its facilities to solve this problem," he said.
Ahmadinejad added that Iraq needed help from its neighbors to keep terrorists out and pave the way for withdrawal of US and coalition troops.
"Under the complicated circumstances (today), the Iraqi government must be supported to bring stability and security," Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said at the opening of the two-day summit in Tehran.
Iraq blames much of its insurgency on foreign fighters and has called on its neighbors to more closely guard their borders against infiltration. Neighboring countries have expressed concern that instability in Iraq poses a security threat to the entire region.
Ahmadinejad said terrorists infiltrating Iraq offer a pretext for US-led forces to stay there.
"Terrorists' aim is nothing other than preparing the ground for a long-term stay of foreign forces," he said.
The meeting gathered foreign ministers from Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, Bahrain and senior representatives from the United Nations, Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Conference.
Iran's ruling clerics, by hosting this meeting, apparently sought to show Washington that they recognize the threat of groups such as al-Qaida and are ready to help stabilize Iraq through supporting the new government in Baghdad.
Iran, which has a long history of conflict with Arabs, has repeatedly been accused by the United States of interfering in Iraq and sending money and infiltrators to support the insurgency there.
Tehran has denied the charges and says it has no interest in fomenting instability across the border.