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Ahmadinejad calls for Persian Gulf security pact

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Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called for the creation of a Persian Gulf security pact at a Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) on Tuesday.
CAIRO, December 4 (RIA Novosti) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called for the creation of a Persian Gulf security pact at a Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) on Tuesday.

Iran is not a GCC member, but was a guest at the summit for the first time in the organization's 27-year history.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that security issues in the region affected all of the Persian Gulf states.

"Any security problem that could happen in one country will have a negative effect on the security of all countries," he said.

The GCC, comprising Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman, was holding a two-day summit in Doha, Qatar, which started on Monday.

Tehran's relations with the Persian Gulf Arab states are complicated, with Iran unhappy at the GCC nations' close cooperation with the U.S.

The meeting took place on the same day that U.S. President George Bush refused to rule out military action against Iran, despite a report saying the Islamic Republic may have no plans to build nuclear weapons.

The U.S. National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), released on Monday, stated that Tehran had halted weapons production in 2003, although it was continuing to enrich uranium.

The report contradicted a previous U.S. intelligence assessment in 2005 which stated that Iran was actively pursuing a nuclear bomb.

The six Arab Persian Gulf states also announced plans to establish a common market starting from January 1, 2008, said the secretary general of the GCC.

Abdul Rahman Al-Atia told the Gulf forum that all subjects of the Arab Persian Gulf states would enjoy equal rights in all six GCC member states, including employment, business and health rights.

"The common market will enable GCC subjects to enjoy economic benefits in the Gulf States, and help to open broad opportunities for domestic and foreign investment," he said.

He said the common market would also strengthen the GCC's member states' positions in the world, and that the Gulf States were expected to introduce a single currency by 2010.

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