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Iran's president slams 'foreign presence' in Gulf

April 18, 2013

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.—File Photo

TEHRAN: Iran's president has slammed ''foreign presence'' in the Persian Gulf, claiming it's the source of insecurity in the region.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says Iran has ''always guarded peace and security'' in the Gulf and the strategic Strait of Hormuz, a key waterway through which about one-fifth of the world's oil supply passes.

Ahmadinejad says that “foreign presence has been main reason of insecurity in the region'' — an apparent reference to Western nations and the US 5th Fleet, based in Bahrain.

Iran sees the large American-led naval presence as foreign military meddling in the Mideast. Ahmadinejad's remarks — typical rhetoric from the president — came ahead of a military parade in Tehran on Thursday as Iran marks National Army Day.