AFP: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad vowed on Tuesday to work to avoid regional instability over Tehran’s nuclear ambitions, as he wound up a Gulf tour in Oman, an Omani minister said. MUSCAT, May 15, 2007 (AFP) – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad vowed on Tuesday to work to avoid regional instability over Tehran’s nuclear ambitions, as he wound up a Gulf tour in Oman, an Omani minister said.
“The two countries stressed they will use all possible means to avoid instability in the region,” Yussef bin Alawi bin Abdullah, the minister responsible for foreign affairs, said in a statement after meeting Ahmadinejad in Muscat.
Oman and Iran are co-guardians of the strategic Strait of Hormuz entrance to the oil-rich Gulf. The two states have consistently maintained good relations.
Ahmadinejad also met the Omani leader, Sultan Qaboos, and businessmen during his two-day visit, which was part of a short regional tour that included the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
On Monday, he warned the United States that Tehran would retaliate severely to any attack over its nuclear programme.
“They (the Americans) understand that if they should make this mistake, the retaliation of the Iranian people will be severe and they will repent,” he told reporters in Abu Dhabi at the end of his UAE visit.
Speaking three days after US Vice President Dick Cheney warned that Washington would not allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons, he said the era when a state could come from “thousands of miles away” to strike another country had passed.
“They cannot strike Iran. The Iranian people are able to retaliate. They are able to protect and defend themselves well,” he said in Farsi through an interpreter.
Ahmadinejad repeated Tehran’s assertions that its nuclear programme, which Washington suspects is a cover for developing atomic weapons, was being pursued “within the context of the law” in keeping with its “right to acquire this energy.”