Hillary `will fail` to rally Gulf against Iran

Iran accuses the United States of seeking to "incite disunity in the region".

Updated: Jan 11, 2011, 16:41 PM IST

Tehran: Iran on Tuesday said that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will fail in a bid to convince Gulf states to strengthen sanctions against Tehran during her current tour of the region.

"US officials` moves and visits in the region aimed at intensifying sanctions against Iran will not have the desired result for them," Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told reporters.

He accused the United States of seeking to "incite disunity in the region" and called on Iran`s neighbours "not to let colonising powers further into the region”.

Hillary, who is on a five-day trip to the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar, said on yesterday that international sanctions have made it "much more difficult" for Iran to pursue its nuclear ambitions.

She urged Arab states in the Gulf to stay focused on sanctions against Iran, adding Gulf countries, which have close economic ties with Iran, have been "very responsive" to enforcing sanctions.

The UN Security Council last June imposed a fourth round of sanctions against Iran in a bid to halt its uranium enrichment programme.

Iran says its aims are peaceful, denying charges by Israel and the West that its uranium enrichment work masks a drive for nuclear weapons.

The Islamic republic is set to hold a new round of nuclear talks with Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States in Istanbul on January 21 and 22.