Iran rejects GCC accusations of provocative comments

AFP , Monday 12 Sep 2011

Iranian state television reports the government's rejection for accusations by the Gulf Cooperation Council that Tehran issued "provocative" statements about its member-states

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (Photo:Reuters)

Iran has rejected accusations by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) that Tehran issued provocative statements about its member-states, the state television website reported on Monday.

"The Islamic republic's regional policy has always followed the principles of mutual respect, (being) good-neighbourly and refraining from interference in the internal affairs of other countries," foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast was quoted by the website as saying.

He was reacting to the closing statement of a meeting of GCC foreign ministers in Jeddah on Sunday.

"Unfortunately, some people are influenced by the media run by arrogance and through disregarding the interests of regional nations, carry out a negative campaign against the Islamic republic of Iran and create misunderstandings between regional countries," Mehmanparast said.

"This issue will have a harmful effect on regional ties and the region's stability and security," he added.

The GCC statement accused the Shiite-dominant Iran of issuing provocative statements about its members.

It deplored Iranian statements "to challenge some GCC countries, in disregard of the rules of good neighbourliness," saying "these statements do not help improve relations between both sides."

Iran's relations with the Gulf monarchies have been strained in the wake of repeated criticism by Tehran of Saudi intervention in Bahrain in mid-March to help Manama quell a popular uprising led by the Shiite majority in the Sunni-ruled kingdom.

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