1. Iran will retaliate on Western warships if Gulf attacked
Iran’s Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi said Tuesday that Western warships stationed in the Gulf are “best targets” for the Islamic republic if its nuclear sites are attacked, Fars news agency reported. Iranian officials have repeatedly threatened to deliver a “crushing response” and hit U.S. targets, including its bases in the Gulf and neighboring Iraq and Afghanistan, if Iran’s nuclear sites are attacked. “Why are there so many warships there? The Westerners know that these warships are the best target for operation by Iran if they do anything against (us),” Vahidi told a conference entitled “Persian Gulf” in Tehran. He also criticized the building of U.S. bases in the region and Washington’s “unofficial presence in Yemen.”(AFP)
2. Iran’s FM visits Libya
Tripoli - Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki arrived in Tripoli Thursday at the start of a three-day visit to Libya. Mottaki was accompanied by a large political and economic delegation. Immediately upon his arrival in Tripoli, Mottaki held talks with Mr. Moussa Koussa, Secretary of Foreign Liaison in Libya where they reviewed bilateral relations and the means of strengthening them as to serve common interests, Jana reported….”Iran and Libya’s position in the Middle East and North Africa, [as well as the] unity and cooperation of Islamic countries will be discussed during the visit,” said Mottaki. He added that the two oil-rich counties could work together on oil and gas projects.
The two parties discussed political cooperation between the General People’s Congress and the Iranian Parliament. Cooperation in the field of railroads and other economic activities was also discussed.
3. in Libya, Mottaki stresses need for restructuring UN security council
Iran’s Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki stressed the need for establishment of more logical and fair international bodies and the restructuring of the United Nations Security Council. He made the remark on Friday when conferring with his Libyan counterpart Musa Kusa in Libya….He further stressed the need for more collective measures to establish security and stability in the world and confront the interventionist and oppressive policies of big powers which have resulted in nothing but extremism, terrorism and insecurity.
Pointing to the oppressive policies of the big powers to safeguard and secure the illegitimate regime of Zionists in Palestine, Mottaki said the last three invasions of the Zionists to Lebanon and Gaza just discredited the usurper regime and its backers. Kusa described as great and excellent the ties between the two nations throughout history and said his country specially revered the supreme nation of Iran. He said Iran has supported and backed the Arab countries in the region and pointed out that the two countries enjoyed many shared stances. He criticized the double-standard policies and biased political policies against Iran and said these pressures were despite the fact that the Zionist regime was equipped with nuclear arms but was still backed by big powers.
4. Islamic Games axed over “Persian Gulf”
RIYADH: The Riyadh-based Islamic Solidarity Sports Federation yesterday called off the athletic games planned for Tehran in April because of Iran’s use of the term “Persian Gulf” on winners’ medals. The ISSF, headed by Saudi Olympic Federation president Prince Sultan bin Fahd, said after an emergency board meeting that Iran’s local organising committee “unilaterally took some decisions without asking the federation by writing some slogans on the medals and pamphlets of the games”.
…Swine flu worries and the dispute over Tehran’s insistence on using “Persian Gulf” for the waters between Iran and the Arabian peninsula had already caused the games to be postponed since an initial planned date of last October. The Arab countries of the oil-rich region insist on the term “Arabian Gulf” or simply the “Gulf”. It would have been the second time the games were held after a first tournament was held in the Saudi Red Sea city of Jeddah in 2005.
The cancellation comes amid a rise in tensions between Riyadh and Tehran, as Saudi Arabia has been seeking to unite Arab countries and isolate its regional rival. Both have traded accusations of interfering in the conflict in Yemen between government forces and Shiite rebels. And an Iranian official confirmed yesterday that Tehran has suspended Muslim pilgrimages to the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah in Saudi Arabia until Saudi religious police end their “appalling behaviour” towards Iranian Shiite pilg
5. Iran warns of artificial islands’ environmental impact on Persian Gulf
TEHRAN - Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki has criticized the construction of artificial islands in the Persian Gulf.
“The construction of artificial islands has environmental impacts on the Persian Gulf region,” Mottaki said in an address to the 19th International Conference on the Persian Gulf, which opened in Tehran on Monday.
Experts from Kuwait, Oman, Lebanon, Egypt, Romania, France, Germany, China, India, Russia, and five other foreign countries are participating in the two-day event, which is being sponsored by the Iranian Foreign Ministry.
Mottaki said the Persian Gulf is important because it is an international shipping route and because the region possesses vast energy resources.
Foreign forces trying to create insecurity in Persian Gulf
Mottaki also said that extra-regional powers are greedily eyeing the region and are attempting to create insecurity and to encourage regional countries to distrust each other in order to gain control of the region’s resources.
The Iranian foreign minister stated that the instability and problems in the region are caused by a number of factors, namely the presence and interference of foreign forces in the region, the massive arms sales, the support for extremist groups, and the efforts to sow discord between regional ethnic groups.
He pointed to the expansionist policies Israel is pursuing in the Persian Gulf region, saying, “The presence of the Zionist regime has been interconnected with insecurity and instability in the region, and U.S. officials are pursuing their foreign policy based on the (Zionist) regime’s security.”
He also attributed the extremism and terrorism in the Middle East to the discriminatory policies foreign countries are implementing in the region.
Regional cooperation necessary to solve Persian Gulf’s problems
The Iranian foreign minister insisted that the problems of the Persian Gulf region must be resolved through regional cooperation.
Iran has presented its proposal for a regional security treaty to regional nations, he said, adding that Tehran believes that there are two approaches for resolving the problems facing the region.
One approach was devised by extra-regional countries that seek to create discord between regional nations, and the other approach envisages regional cooperation, he observed.
Iran is also ready to cooperate with neighboring countries to create a secure environment for economic activities in the region, he added.
Yemen can solve its own problems
Mottaki said the interference of foreign countries in the Yemen conflict has only increased insecurity in the region.
Tehran believes that Sanaa is able to resolve the current crisis through negotiations without the interference of other countries, he added.
The conflict between the Yemeni government and Houthi fighters in northern Yemen began in 2004. It intensified in August 2009 when the Yemeni army launched Operation Scorched Earth in an attempt to crush Shia Houthi fighters in the northern province of Saada.
Regional meeting on dust pollution being organized
Mottaki also announced that a regional meeting will be held in the near future to discuss ways to tackle the region’s dust pollution problem.
He called Saudi Arabia the major source of regional dust pollution and said Iraq, Syria, Egypt, and Jordan are other sources of dust pollution.
Tehran to host trilateral meeting on Afghanistan crisis
Mottaki said that Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan plan to hold another trilateral meeting on the crisis in Afghanistan in Tehran in the near future.
Tehran is devising some regional approaches to deal with the crisis in Afghanistan, he stated.
He also asked certain countries, which claim they are helping Afghanistan resolve its problems, to support Tehran’s approaches.
Major powers pursuing double-standard policy toward Iran
Elsewhere in his remarks, Mottaki criticized the major powers for adopting double-standard policies toward Iran’s nuclear program.
He cited the fact that nothing is done about Israel’s hundreds of nuclear warheads and the nuclear cooperation between the U.S. and the Zionist regime, while illegal restrictions on the use of nuclear energy are imposed on Iran, which is a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.