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Iran says Bush’s Middle East trip aimed at “interfering”

By Xinhua

Tehran : Iran said on Sunday that U.S. President George W. Bush’s planned trip to the Middle East was aimed at interfering in relations among regional states.

“We consider such a trip as interference in the relations of the countries in the region and propaganda,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad-Ali Hosseini told reporters during his weekly briefing.

He also said that Bush’s trip will be an attempt to “compensate America’s failed policies” in the Middle East region.

“None of U.S. policies (in the Middle East) has been successful and won’t be successful,” Hosseini said. “What is being done in the name of peace is a cover to meet the interests of the Zionist regime.”

He said Bush’s trip would not succeed in isolating Iran, adding that regional countries were strengthening their relations with Iran.

The White House said on Thursday that Bush will promote the Middle East peace process in his scheduled visit to the region.

“He’ll be talking about Israeli-Palestinian reconciliation, as well as Israeli-Arab reconciliation, and the overall situation of … Middle East regional security,” said White House spokeswoman Dana Perino.

Bush is due to kick off on Jan. 8 his visit to Israel and the Palestinian autonomous region in a bid to boost Middle East peace talks relaunched at an international conference in Annapolis, the United States, in November.

During his nine-day visit to the Middle East, Bush will also travel to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt.

Bush told mass media in Washington that part of the reason for his trip to the Middle East is to warn countries in the region that nuclear armed Iran will be a danger to the Mideast region.