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Iran Says Ready To Sign Non-Aggression Pact With Region

file photo of the recent Iranian military exercises. Copyright AFP
by Staff Writers
Tehran (AFP) Apr 12, 2006
Iran is ready to sign non-aggression pacts with countries in the region, the Islamic republic's defence minister was quoted as saying Tuesday. The comment came less than a week after military exercises were held to trumpet the Islamic republic's "homegrown" military achievements.

"Our exercises were welcomed by Muslims of the world, and they dismayed our enemies. Since (the exercises) were a message of peace and friendship, we are ready to sign non-aggression pacts with the regional countries," Mostafa Mohammad Najjar said.

"Islamic Republic of Iran announces once again its readiness to hold a joint military exercise with regional countries," he was quoted as saying in Iranian dailies.

From March 31 to April 6, Iran staged major exercises along its strategic southern coast. The Islamic republic also unveiled a wide range of homegrown weaponry including various missiles and torpedoes.

The war games were held in the Strait of Hormuz -- the narrow neck in the Gulf through which a third of the world's oil exports pass.

The minister's comments also came amid reports in the US media that President George W. Bush was considering possible air strikes against Iran's nuclear sites.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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Rumsfeld Says Talk Of US Military Strikes On Iran Are Fantasyland
Washington (AFP) Apr 12, 2006
US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld Tuesday dismissed as "fantasyland" reports that the Pentagon is planning military strikes against Iran. Rumsfeld refused to discuss whether the US military has stepped up plans for military strikes against Iran, and joined President George W. Bush in attacking such news reports as unfounded speculation.

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