Iran demands US troop withdrawal
Ahmadinejad proposed forming a body that would provide a balance to the UN's 
nuclear watchdog

The Iranian president has called on the US to withdraw its troops from the Gulf 
region and Afghanistan.

"The region has no need for alien troops and they should return home and let 
the regional states take care of their own affairs," Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said 
in a speech marking the country's annual Army Day on Sunday.

"They must leave the region and this is not a request but an order, and the 
will of the regional nations," he said.

He said the deployment of US and Nato troops in Iraq and Afghanistan under the 
pretext of fighting terrorism had not only failed, but also increased 
insecurity in both countries.

Israel will 'collapse'

The president also said that Israel, the "main instigator of conflict" in the 
Middle East, was on its way to collapse and that regional powers wanted it 
in depth

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"This is the will of the regional nations that after 60 odd years, the root of 
this corrupt microbe and the main reason for insecurity in the region be pulled 
out," Ahmadinejad said.

He said that except the "Zionist regime (Israel)," Iran considered all other 
countries as "friend and brother" with whom the Islamic state wanted peaceful 

On the day that Iran was exhibiting its latest military hardware, Ahmadinejad 
vowed that the country would use all its military potential in case of any 
armed aggression.

Ahmadinejad's comments came a day after he called for the formation of a new 
international body to oversee nuclear disarmament during a two-day summit on 
civilian nuclear energy in Tehran.

Nuclear summit

The summit, which is continuing on Sunday, is seen as a counterpoint to a major 
conference in Washington earlier this week, in which Barack Obama, the US 
president, outlined his nuclear strategy.

Iran criticised the 47-nation nuclear security summit on the grounds that the 
US holds one of the world's largest stocks of nuclear weapons.

Iran was not invited to the conference as the US fears its nuclear programme 
could be a cover for the production of atomic weapons.

Tehran says it is entitled to continue work on its controversial uranium 
enrichment programme. It strongly denies it is seeking nuclear weapons, saying 
its atomic programme is for meeting civilian energy needs.

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