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Sun 3 Feb 2008 12:10 PM

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Iran slams French plans for UAE military base

Expansion of foreign forces will only cause instability in Gulf region, Foreign Ministry says.

Iran lashed out on Sunday at French plans to set up a military base in the UAE, saying it would only cause instability in the Gulf region.

"We are against military expansion in the region and we think the presence of foreign forces will not contribute to stability but on the contrary, will be a factor of insecurity and instability," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mohammad Ali Hosseini told a press conference.

France announced during a January visit to the UAE by President Nicolas Sarkozy that it would set up a military base in the capital Abu Dhabi to become operational in 2009.

Iran has been a vocal critic of the presence of foreign forces in the Gulf region, notably the US military, which has bases in several countries including Iraq.

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