October 29, 2006 -- Iran says it is not worried about naval maneuvers to be led by the United States off its coast this week.
From October 30, warships from the United States, Australia, Bahrain, Britain, France, and Italy will take part in the operation to simulate inspection of ships carrying illicit weapons-related materials.
The Iranian Navy's commander, Admiral Sajjad Kuchaki, was quoted as saying Tehran is watching the vessels closely.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Husseini said Iran did not believe the maneuvers constitute a threat, and that security in the Persian Gulf is maintained by regional states better than any other country.
Husseini also made a call for Persian Gulf states, including Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Iraq, and Iran, to protect their interests within a regional collective security pact.
(Fars, IRNA, AFP, Reuters, AP)
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