News / Middle East

    Iran's President Says US Causes Rift Between Iran and Arab States

    Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad delivers his speech, during army parade, marking national Army Day in front of the mausoleum of the late revolutionary founder Ayatollah Khomeini near Tehran, Iran, Monday, April 18, 2011
    Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad delivers his speech, during army parade, marking national Army Day in front of the mausoleum of the late revolutionary founder Ayatollah Khomeini near Tehran, Iran, Monday, April 18, 2011

    Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Monday said the United States is causing rifts between Iran and the Arab world.

    In a speech at Iran's annual Army Day parade, Ahmadinejad charged that the U.S. aim is to create a religious divide among Muslim Shi'ites and Sunnis.  In the televised remarks to the nation, he added that Washington's plans will fail.

    The United States routinely denies interfering in Iranian affairs.

    The Iranian president's speech comes after Gulf Arab states on Sunday asked Iran to stop meddling in their affairs.

    The Gulf Cooperation Council's six member states, ruled by Sunnis, called on the United Nations Security Council to "take the necessary measures" to stop "flagrant Iranian interference and provocation."

    Under criticism from Iran for sending troops to Bahrain, Saudi Arabia on Sunday threatened to recall its diplomats from Tehran in an escalating spat.

    Meanwhile, Iranian state media reported that Iran successfully test-fired three new missiles.

    Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi announced the tests that included the firing of the Zafar missile which he called "the fastest cruise missile in the world."

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

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