Gulf countries challenge US on Iran, Israel, at Bahrain conference

Gulf Arab countries challenged US Defense Secretary Robert Gates on American policies toward Iran and Israel, after he called on them Saturday to band together to force Teheran to stop uranium enrichment. The dissent highlights fissures between the United States and its Sunni allies, despite their wariness of Shi'ite Iran's growing influence. Debate over how the US and Gulf Arab states should approach Iran's controversial nuclear program dominated discussion on the second day of a regional security conference hosted by Bahrain. Iran decided at the last minute to skip the meeting.