Washington's Arab allies harshly criticized Iran's growing influence in the Middle East, telling the country's top diplomat at a high-level conference Saturday that it must stay out of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and be more open about its nuclear ambitions.
Iran has started building its first domestically-made atomic power plant, a senior official announced on Saturday, and Tehran's foreign minister said nuclear talks with the EU were likely in Spain this month.
Momentum is building behind an academic boycott of Iran to pressure the government to free imprisoned American scholar Haleh Esfandiari, who was jailed in Tehran's notorious Evin Prison on May 8 after more than four months under house arrest.
Iran's nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani is likely to meet EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana in Spain for talks on resolving the standoff over Tehran's nuclear programme.
The next round of talks between Iran and the European Union on Tehran's disputed nuclear program is likely to take place in Spain this month, Iran's foreign minister was quoted as saying on Saturday.
Iran said on Saturday the United States should withdraw its troops from Iraq because their presence is causing "terrorist" activity in the war-torn country.
Iran has spent more than 64 million dollars to restore Shiite holy sites in neighbouring Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein.
Iran's foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki Saturday said his country has no intention of invading Israel. The foreign minister said that while Iran has no plans for an attack, his country still does not recognize Israel's government as legitimate.
Iran said on Saturday that it does not seek the destruction of Israel, although it does not recognise the Jewish state as legitimate.
DEAD SEA, Jordan (Reuters) - Iran's foreign minister said on Saturday he had referred to the Palestinians, not Israel, when he said a nation could not be removed from the map, the official IRNA news agency said.