Iran will ‘never’ use force against Muslim neighbors,

IRAN will never use force against its Muslim neighbours, the country’s foreign minister told a conference on Middle East security today, following US said Arab states voicing concernss over Tehran’s suspected attempts to acquire nuclear weapons.

And in a keynote address to the conference, Jordan’s King Abdullah II said Israeli-Palestinian peace talks must be rescued from collapse to ensure regional and world stability.

“We have never used our force against our neighbours and never will because our neighbors are Muslims,” Iran’s Manouchehr Mottaki said.

“Your power in the region is our power, and our power is your power.”

US secretary of state Hillary Clinton said Friday that US concerns over Tehran’s suspected atomic weapons program were shared by Iran’s neighbours.

But Mottaki cautioned against submitting to “pressure by outsiders to divide us and create instability,” saying that “the presence of foreign powers will not help establish security in the region” and urging coopera

IRAN will never use force against its Muslim neighbours, the country’s foreign minister told a conference on Middle East security today, following US said Arab states voicing concernss over Tehran’s suspected attempts to acquire nuclear weapons.

And in a keynote address to the conference, Jordan’s King Abdullah II said Israeli-Palestinian peace talks must be rescued from collapse to ensure regional and world stability.

“We have never used our force against our neighbours and never will because our neighbors are Muslims,” Iran’s Manouchehr Mottaki said.

“Your power in the region is our power, and our power is your power.”

US secretary of state Hillary Clinton said Friday that US concerns over Tehran’s suspected atomic weapons program were shared by Iran’s neighbours.

But Mottaki cautioned against submitting to “pressure by outsiders to divide us and create instability,” saying that “the presence of foreign powers will not help establish security in the region” and urging cooperation among Gulf countries.

He said it was vital for Iran to “have stability and security, because we [Iran and its neighboring Gulf states] provide the world with most of its energy.”

“Iran is determined to guarantee international security in the field of energy,” he added.

Yesterday, Mrs Clinton said that “there is no debate in the international community, and perhaps the Iranians will engage seriously … on what is a concern shared by nations on every continent but most particularly right here in the region,” referring to talks due to start Monday between major powers and Iran over Tehran’s nuclear program.

“Obviously, if you’re the neighbour of a country that is pursuing nuclear weapons, that is viewed in a much more threatening way than if you’re a concerned country many thousands of miles away. But the concern is the same, and we hope that Iran will respond.”

The Manama Dialogue came as US diplomacy reels over State Department cables published by WikiLeaks.

Some of the most prominent headlines highlighted widespread fears among Arab countries in the Gulf about Iran’s suspected nuclear weapons program.

For his part, King Abdullah II said that “our region will not enjoy security and stability unless we solve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and Arabs, Muslims and Israelis find peace.”

“If hope is killed, radical forces will prevail. The region will sink into more vicious warfare and instability, threatening security far beyond the borders of the Middle East,” he said of direct peace talks launched in September in Washington.

“This is why it is essential that we rescue the new round of negotiations between the Palestinians and Israel.”

The talks ground to a halt as Israel refused Palestinian demands to impose a new moratorium on settlement construction in the West Bank. A 10-month freeze expired on September 26, shortly after the launch of the latest round of negotiations.

King Abdullah II said that “the building of settlements has to stop” and urged Israeli and Palestinian negotiators to resume “serious negotiations” on all pending issues – borders, security and refugees – adding that “the alternative is new conflicts that will reverberate far beyond the borders of the Middle East.”

The annual Manama Dialogue is organized by the London-based International Institute of Strategic Studies and was formally opened last night by Mrs Clinton.

She previously said Washington was “working intensively” to break the impasse in Palestinian-Israeli talks.

tion among Gulf countries.

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