AFP: Iran is not worried by US arms sales in the Middle East, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was reported as saying by the ISNA news agency on Friday. TEHRAN, Aug 3, 2007 (AFP) – Iran is not worried by US arms sales in the Middle East, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was reported as saying by the ISNA news agency on Friday.
“We are not troubled by American weapons sales to the region. The Americans sense that their relations with countries in the area have become weaker, and they are seeking to strengthen them,” Ahmadinejad was quoted as telling Algerian journalists.
He was speaking ahead of a visit to Algeria on August 6.
“The Americans seek to create divisions between our brothers in the region to impose their own will upon them… they want to present the main enemy of Arab countries (Israel) as their friend, and present Iran, the best friend of countries in the region, as their enemy,” he said.
Washington this week agreed to supply weapons worth 13 billion dollars (9.5 billion euros) to Egypt, 30 billion dollars’ (22 billion euros’) worth to Israel, and a 20-billion-dollar (14.6-billion-euro) package to Saudi Arabia.
Other Gulf states would also share in a 20-billion-dollar arms deal.
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Monday ahead of a visit to the region that the arms sales were aimed at countering “the negative influences of Al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, Syria, and Iran.”
Over the past 20 years “the United States has sold 400 billion dollars’ (292 billion euros’) worth of weapons to countries in the region,” ISNA quoted Ahmadinejad as saying. “We advise them to use these funds to develop and build their own country.”