President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Monday accused the United States of wanting to create tension between Iran and Arabs, after Gulf Arab states urged the Iranian regime to stop interfering in their affairs.
“America and its allies are trying to create an Iranian-Arab tension, they seek to sow discord among Shiites and Sunnis… but their plan will fail,” the hardliner said at Iran’s annual Army Day parade, where the military displayed a range of home-built drones and missiles.
“America is not an honest friend and the record shows it has drawn swords against its own friends and those who have sacrificed themselves for America,” Ahmadinejad said in a speech broadcast live on state television.
“America has done it in order to save its interests. But they should know that they have no place among nations,” Ahmadinejad said.
His latest outburst came a day after the Gulf Cooperation Council’s six member states, who are all ruled by Sunnis, called on the Iranian regime to stop its “interference” in the GCC.
The group called in a statement on “the international community and the (UN) Security Council to take the necessary measures to make flagrant Iranian interference and provocations aimed at sowing discord and destruction” among GCC states.
It said the GCC — Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — “categorically rejects all foreign interference in its affairs… and invites the Iranian regime to stop its provocations.”
Saudi Arabia separately on Sunday threatened to recall its diplomats from Tehran unless they were better protected.
“I hope we won’t be obliged to withdraw our diplomatic mission from Tehran if Iran fails to take the necessary measures to protect it,” deputy foreign minister Prince Turki bin Mohammed told reporters.
A week ago Iranian students demonstrated outside the Saudi embassy in Tehran to condemn Riyadh’s military intervention in Bahrain and the “murder” of Bahraini citizens, the official IRNA news agency had reported.
Iran, a predominantly Shiite Muslim country, has repeatedly condemned the dispatch of Saudi troops to Bahrain to support a crackdown on demonstrations there by Shiites, who form the majority of the population of the country.
Ahmadinejad said Iran was a “close friend” of world nations and “with alertness of people and their politicians, the new plot by the world arrogance will not prevail.”
He added that the “Zionist” leaders in the United States would also fail in their attempt to save the “Zionist regime” in Israel.
The Iranian president also predicted a “new Middle East” would emerge but it would not be dominated by the United States and Israel.
“They are seeking a new Middle East. Sure, the people of the region want a new one too but with God’s divine grace, a new Middle East without the American dominance and the presence of the Zionist regime will materialise,” he said.
The animosity between Iran and the United States has surged under Ahmadinejad’s presidency, with Washington pursuing strict measures against Tehran over its controversial nuclear programme.
The Iranian army did not showcase any new hardware or long-range missiles during the parade Monday, which compared to the one held last year appeared to be low-key.
Iran’s missile programme has sparked concern in the West that such advanced technologies, combined with the nuclear know-how which the nation is acquiring, may enable Tehran to produce an atomic weapon.
Tehran denies its nuclear programme has military aims. Agencies