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Iran says Gulf states important power, not just oil wells for West
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posted January 08, 2001 10:19
TEHRAN, Jan 7 (AFP) - The Gulf states "deserve better" than to be treated as simply a source of oil for the rest of the world, Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi said on Sunday. "It is not suitable for the Persian Gulf region that once enjoyed a
prominent political, economic, and cultural status to succumb to a definition that presents this region solely as the source of fuel for the world economic regime," he said.
He told an academic conference on the Persian Gulf here that the region has "sufficient capital, energy and human resources to deserve a better status."
President Mohammad Khatami opened the conference by saying the Gulf states are on the way to becoming a unified economic powerhouse that could also give them expanded political influence across the globe.
The region "will soon become a powerful economic bloc which will also play an effective role in establishing peace and stability worldwide," he said.
The foreign minister also issued another indirect warning to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which is claiming three Gulf islands that Iran insists are an integral part of its territory and has held since 1971.
"Iran neither harbours ambitions toward the territory of other nations nor allows propaganda campaigns, threats and political pressures against her territorial integrity to bear fruit," he said.
The six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council at its recent Manama summit said the strategic isles belong by "right" to the UAE and condemned Iran's "occupation" of Abu Mussa and the Greater and Lesser Tunbs.
Iranian Interior Minister Abdol-Vahed Mussavi-Lari last week warned the UAE "not to get fooled by the propaganda campaign because Iran will never yield a single inch of its territory."
All times are PT (US)
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