Ahmadinejad sees a new era in the Gulf

Atul Aneja

DUBAI: Predicting an end of U.S. domination in the region, Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad directed his country’s envoys to prepare for a new era based on “long-lasting” ties with the Gulf neighbours.

Addressing Ambassadors posted in the Gulf on Monday, Mr. Ahmandinejad said any policy formulation towards Iran’s neighbourhood should consider the “end of the U.S. Empire.”

He also called for the expansion of economic ties in the industrial and agricultural spheres with the Gulf.

Mr. Ahmadinejad condemned the presence of foreign forces in the region, saying the involvement of these forces in domestic affairs of the regional countries has created tension in the entire region, reported the Islamic Republic News Agency.

Mr. Ahmadinejad rejected Washington’s assertion that Iran posed a threat to the Gulf.

“Iran’s stance toward its neighbouring countries is one of leniency and mutual respect,” he said, adding that the U.S. has been exerting pressure on the Gulf countries to reconsider their close relationship with Iran.

Earlier, Iran’s spokesman Gholam-Hossein Elham said Tehran’s defence capabilities were a factor in generating stability in the region.

He made these remarks following military exercises by Iran in the Gulf, which included the firing of the medium-range Shahab-3 missiles.

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