U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates says American allies in the Arab
world should strengthen their military capabilities to deter Iran from
seeking nuclear weapons.
In an interview with the Arabic
network Al-Jazeera released Tuesday, Gates says if Iran proceeds with
its nuclear program, it could potentially spark a nuclear arms race in
the entire region.
But he says one way to get the Iranians to
change their approach on the nuclear issue is to persuade them that
developing atomic weapons will jeopardize their security, not enhance
Also Tuesday, Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki
said Iran will deliver new proposals on Wednesday to six world powers
trying to negotiate with Tehran on its nuclear program.
He did not specify where and how the proposals will be delivered.
comments came a day after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said
his country will not negotiate on its "right" to develop nuclear
But Mr. Ahmadinejad said Iran will discuss ways to cooperate on the "peaceful use" of nuclear energy.
and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council (the United
States, Russia, China, France and Britain) have been seeking dialogue
with Iran on its nuclear program.
The Security Council has
issued three sets of sanctions on Iran for its refusal to suspend
uranium enrichment, a process that can be used to make nuclear weapons.
United States and its Western allies have accused Iran of trying to
develop nuclear weapons. Iran says its atomic program is for peaceful
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.