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Bahrain urges Iran to see new Gulf measures
AFP via Khaleej Times ^ | 1/4/2010 | AFP via Khaleej Times

Posted on 02/03/2010 10:02:39 PM PST by ErnstStavroBlofeld

WASHINGTON - Bahrain’s foreign minister Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa acknowledged that Gulf military defenses were being upgraded but urged Iran not to see them as plans for attack.

During a press conference with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Shaikh Khalid did not specify what security measures were being taken but appeared to confirm reports about a stronger US military presence in the region.

US newspapers said the Obama administration is placing ships with missile-targeting capabilities off Iran’s coast, and anti-missile systems in at least four Gulf states — Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and the UAE.

The reported moves come amid stalemate over US-led diplomatic efforts to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

“The United States commitment to its allies and its partners is evident,” Shaikh Khalid told reporters, recalling a long history of security cooperation.

“We’re not seeing anything new. Nobody is saber-rattling here. Nobody is being belligerent to anyone in the region,” he said after a journalist referred to the reports of new anti-missile systems in the region.

“It’s just a purely defensive measure for the benefit of the world, for the region being so important to the whole world,” he added, referring to the biggest oil-exporting region in the world.

Bahrain’s chief diplomat acknowledged security for the region “is being developed. It’s being upgraded. New technology is coming in.”

But he added: “We expect Iran not to see it as a measure being taken against it. This is a measure to protect. It’s not a measure to attack.”

In Tehran, Iranian Parliament speaker Ali Larijani Tuesday slammed plans by the United States to beef up defenses in the Gulf against potential Iranian missile attacks, insisting the Islamic republic is no threat to its neighbors.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bahrain; iran; kuwait; persiangulf; qatar; uae

1 posted on 02/03/2010 10:02:39 PM PST by ErnstStavroBlofeld
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