U.S. Political News and Commentary with a Progressive Spin
Monday, April 18, 2011
Iran says US instigating Arabs
(Al Aribiya) - President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran on Monday accused the United States of wanting to create tension between Iran and Arabs. His comments came after the Gulf Cooperation Council called upon the United Nations to take action against Tehran to prevent its “interference” in the domestic affairs of the six Gulf Arab states.
“America is trying to sow discord among Shiites and Sunnis ... they want to create tension between Iran and Arabs ... but their plan will fail,” Mr. Ahmadinejad said at Iran’s annual Army Day parade, according to the Agence-France Press.
“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,” the Iranian president said in a speech broadcast live on state television.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad predicted a
“new Middle East” would emerge from the current unrest. (File photo
Mr. Ahmadinejad also predicted a “new Middle East” would emerge from the current unrest, but that it would not be dominated by the United States and Israel.
President Ahmadinejad’s comments came a day after the Gulf Cooperation Council’s six member states, who are each ruled by Sunnis, called on the Iranian regime to stop its “interference” in the GCC.
GCC leacers called on the United Nations and the international community early Monday to take action against Iran to prevent its “flagrant interference, provocations and threats” in the domestic affairs of the six Gulf Arab states, especially Bahrain.
After a meeting in the Saudi capital Riyadh, the GCC urged the UN Security Council in a statement asking to take the “necessary measures” against the Islamic republic to prevent it from sowing regional discord.
The GCC is a union that includes Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and Kuwait.
The statement said the GCC “categorically rejects all foreign interference in its affairs,” and slammed “aggression against Saudi diplomats” in Iran.
On Sunday, Riyadh threatened to recall its diplomats from Tehran unless they were better protected, according to Agence-France Press.
“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 of Saudi Arabia told reporters.
Iranian students demonstrated on Sunday outside the Saudi Embassy in Tehran to condemn Riyadh’s military intervention in Bahrain, the official IRNA news agency reported.
Iran’s Fars news agency, which is close to conservatives who dominate Iran’s politics, reported that “six to seven petrol bombs were hurled against the embassy” as students chanted anti-Saudi slogans.
Tehran has repeatedly condemned the dispatch of GCC troops to Bahrain.
“Shiites in the Gulf are our brothers and have national rights under the umbrella of their loyalty [to their countries] and not to the outside,” Prince Turki said on Sunday, according to the AFP.
Iran, with a population of 78 million, is predominantly a Shiite Muslim country.
Bahrain declared a three-month state of emergency on March 15 after troops from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf States arrived to help quell protests led by majority Shiites, who are calling for democracy and civil rights.
Bahrain’s population is estimated at 1.2 million, according to latest surveys.