Iran neighbours’ security concerns baseless: Larijani

Filed on May 3, 2006

ABU DHABI — A senior Iranian official has welcomed Gulf Cooperation Council’s mediation in clearing the standoff over his country’s nuclear programme, and dismissed security concerns raised by Iran’s neighbours as ‘baseless’.

Addressing a Press conference here yesterday Iran’s National Security Chief Ali Larijani said: “We welcome any effort by the GCC in addressing the crisis over our nuclear programme to help diffuse international pressure on Iran and spare the region more troubles.”

Larijani said Iran was prepared to go for dialogue on the nuclear dossier, “provided that our rights are not undermined”. He expressed confidence that the GCC leaders would not side with the US in its confrontation with Iran “because they were aware of the US administration’s double-standards policies”.

Larijani asserted that his country did not have any problems with its neighbours. “Our conflict with the UAE over the three islands is a minor one, compared to the two countries’ strong historical ties,” he said. “Iran and the UAE have achieved record progress in their economic and business cooperation. This relationship is based on mutual benefit.”

The Iranian official accused the US of courting dissent in the region. “The US is now planting seeds of discord between Shias and Sunnis in Iraq and elsewhere in the region’, he claimed.

On the Iranian nuclear dossier, Larijani said he felt the GCC leaders were all in favour of a peaceful solution. This approach, he noted, did not fit well with the US administration’s policy “which has a different agenda for the entire region”.

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