Tehran: Iran has warned the West not to
use the military option to oust Libyan strongman Moamer
Gaddafi, saying such action could turn the country into a
Western military base.
Iran`s foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast
condemned the "inhumane violence" unleashed by
Gaddafiloyalists against Libya`s "popular movement" but said
this "should not provide an excuse for military interference
by other countries."
"They (Western countries) should not try to turn
countries into military bases," Mehmanparast was quoted as
saying on the website of Iran`s English-language Press TV
channel on Tuesday.
His remarks came in response to reports that the
West, including the United States, was weighing a military
option against embattled Gaddafi.
However, such intervention was looking less likely
on Wednesday after US Defence Secretary Robert Gates said that
"there is no unanimity within NATO for the use of armed force"
"We also have to think about frankly the use of the US
military in another country in the Middle East," Gates added.
Although Gaddafi`s military is badly outgunned by US
and NATO aircraft, the regime has dozens of surface-to-air
missiles that could target invading warplanes.
More than 100,000 people have already left Libya to
escape a vicious crackdown by Gaddafiloyalists which has left
at least 1,000 dead, according to conservative UN estimates.
The revolt against Gaddafi`s 41-year rule is part of
anger at authoritarian Arab regimes sweeping the Middle East
and North Africa and even the Gulf states of Kuwait and Oman.
The uprisings were triggered by revolts in Tunisia and
Egypt which led to ouster of their respective presidents.