Iran president complains of interference in region

Reuters News
Posted: Feb 17, 2012 3:54 AM
Iran president complains of interference in region

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, accused by the West of pursuing a nuclear weapons program, said in Pakistan on Friday foreign nations were determined to dominate the region and this should not be allowed.

"There are countries that are determined to dominate our region. And they have targeted our region for their domination and hegemony," he told a news conference in the Pakistani capital Islamabad.

"We should deny others the opportunity to interfere in our affairs."

The Iranian president did not say to which countries he was referring.

The West accuses Iran of using its nuclear program to pursue weapons capability and has imposed sanctions on its oil industry which have hit its wider economy hard.

Iran rejects the charge and insists its program is for peaceful power generation only.

Ahmadinejad is in Pakistan attending a meeting with the leaders of neighboring Pakistan and Afghanistan aimed at promoting regional stability.

"There is no fundamental problem among the countries of the region. All the problems are coming from outside," he said.

The United States and NATO are training a 350,000-strong force of police and soldiers in war-torn Afghanistan who will take over all security responsibilities before a planned NATO pullout by 2014.

(Reporting by Chris Allbritton; Editing by Nick Macfie)