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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran unfazed by U.S. plans to aid Mideast allies

RIA Novosti

01/08/2007 16:09 TEHRAN, August 1 (RIA Novosti) - Iran is undaunted by Washington's intention to provide substantial military aid to its allies in the Middle East, the Iranian defense minister said Wednesday.

"They [the U.S.] are engaging in psychological warfare in the region in an effort to save the American military industry. Clearly, this will not produce the desired result, and their goals will not be attained," Mostafa Mohammad Najar said.

The U.S. State Department announced Monday a new U.S. plan to sell some $20 billion in advanced weaponry to Saudi Arabia and other pro-Washington Arab states over the next decade and to increase military aid to Israel by 25 percent, from an annual $2.4 billion at present to $3 billion a year, guaranteed for 10 years.

U.S. officials also said President George W. Bush would seek congressional approval for $13 billion in additional military aid to Egypt, which currently receives $1.3 billion annually.

Najar said: "U.S. plans are designed to create a security belt around Israel." He stressed that Tehran maintains equal relations with all Gulf states that Washington intends to aid.

"We have no problem with neighboring or Muslim countries, and should any of these countries acquire weapons, this would only make the Islamic world more powerful," he said.

He said the Islamic Republic "is not afraid" of the psychological war being waged against it by the U.S. administration. "If we see a threat coming from any part of the region, we will be completely prepared to counter it," Najar said.

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