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Mottaki: Iran Will 'Never Use' Force against Muslim Neighbors

Iran will never use force against its Muslim neighbors, its foreign minister told a conference on Middle East security on Saturday, after the United States said Arab states were worried by 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.

Iran's Manouchehr Mottaki said: "We have never used our force against our neighbors and never will because our neighbors are Muslims."

"Your power in the region is our power and our power is your power."

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had said on Friday that U.S. concerns over Tehran's suspected atomic weapons program are shared by Iran's neighbors.

Mottaki cautioned against submitting to "pressure by outsiders to divide us and create instability," saying "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."

On Friday, Clinton said "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."

She was referring to talks due to start between major powers and Iran on Monday over Tehran's nuclear program.

"Because obviously if you're the neighbor 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."(AFP)


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