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Iran Tells Gulf Arabs It Is No Threat to Region


Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki speaks during his press conference in Manama, Bahrain, 04 Dec 2010

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki speaks during his press conference in Manama, Bahrain, 04 Dec 2010

Iran has sought to assure its Gulf neighbors that it is not a threat to them, after revelations that Gulf Arab leaders are concerned about Tehran's nuclear program.

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki told a Gulf security conference in Bahrain Saturday that a more powerful Iran is nothing to fear. He said Iran's power in the region is their power, too.

Western nations have accused Iran of pursuing technology to build a nuclear weapon, a charge Iran denies.

Also Saturday, Intelligence Minister Heydar Moslehi was quoted by state television as saying the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency is sending spies along with its inspectors to monitor the country's nuclear activities.

The reports quote him as saying the International Atomic Energy Agency was sending spies from foreign intelligence agencies, and should be held responsible. He did not elaborate.

Earlier this week, the Iranian intelligence minister accused the U.N. of being involved in a bombing in Tehran that killed one nuclear scientist and wounded another. Moslehi said the intelligence agencies of the U.S., Britain and Israel were involved.

Iran is to resume talks about its nuclear program next week with the group of world powers known as the P5+1. The group is made up of Germany and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council - Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was quoted by Iranian media Saturday as saying his country is ready for talks on cooperation but will not negotiate what he described as "Iran's inalienable rights."

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