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Iranian President: Iran Able to Preserve Mideast Security


Iran has marked its Army Day with a low-key military parade and a speech by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that appeared more muted than in the past.

In a short address at Saturday's parade in Tehran, Mr. Ahmadinejad said Iran's armed forces are able to help preserve security in the Middle East.

He refrained from making anti-U.S. or anti-Israel comments similar to what he has made in the past.

Mr. Ahmadinejad recently praised U.S. President Barack Obama for including greetings to the Iranian government and people in a video message marking the Persian new year.

On the nuclear front, six major world powers including the U.S. said recently they would invite Iran to join in talks on its atomic program. Iran's top nuclear negotiator has said Tehran is open to the discussions.

Iran and the West are at odds over Iran's nuclear program, which the U.S. and its Western allies believe may have a military component. Iran says its atomic activities are for peaceful, civilian use.

Iran's Army Day parade was held near the mausoleum of the country's former Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who led Iran's Islamic revolution in 1979.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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