Iran warns Arab neighbours aligning with U.S. a ‘dangerous position’
Reuters Jan 19, 2012 – 8:24 AM ET | Last Updated: Jan 19, 2012 8:45 AM ET
By Ibon Villelabeitia
ANKARA — Iran’s foreign minister warned Arab neighbours on Thursday not to put themselves in a “dangerous position” by aligning themselves too closely with the United States in the escalating dispute over Tehran’s nuclear activity.
Iran has threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, used for a third of the world’s seaborne oil trade, if pending Western moves to ban Iranian crude exports cripple its lifeblood energy sector, fanning fears of a descent into wider Middle East war.
Tehran, which denies suspicions it is seeking nuclear weapons, was riled earlier this week when Saudi Arabia asserted it could swiftly raise oil output for key customers if needed, a scenario that could transpire if Iranian exports were embargoed.
“We want peace and tranquility in the region. But some of the countries in our region, they want to direct other countries 12,000 miles away from this region,” Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said in English during a visit to Turkey.
The remark was an apparent reference to the alliance of Iran’s Arab neighbours with Washington, which maintains a huge fleet in the Gulf and says it will keep the waterway open.
“I am calling to all countries in the region, please don’t let yourselves be dragged into a dangerous position,” he told Turkey’s NTV broadcaster............http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/01/19 ... -position/