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Iran Urges Middle East to Form Alliance Against US, Israel


Iran has urged other countries in the Middle East to form a powerful alliance in the face of what it called "U.S. and Israeli plots."

Iran's official news agency (IRNA) quotes influential former president and head of the Expediency Council, Hashemi Rafsanjani, as saying it is of great importance that Iran, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and other Islamic states in the region cooperate more closely.

The call comes Thursday, a day after Iranian and Syrian leaders said they would form a united front in the face of foreign threats and pressure.

In Washington, President Bush said Syria is "out of step" with other nations in the Middle East that are seeking democracy. Regarding Iran, Mr. Bush said he wants questions surrounding Tehran's nuclear activities answered through diplomacy. But he said the United States would support Israel if the Jewish state's security was threatened by Iran.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and AP.

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