Thursday, January 19, 2012

Iran warns region against “dangerous” stance on Hormuz

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(Reuters) – Iran’s foreign minister warned Arab neighbors on Thursday not to put themselves in a “dangerous position” by aligning themselves too closely with the United States in the escalating dispute over Tehran’s nuclear activity.

Iran has threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, used for a third of the world’s seaborne oil trade, if pending Western moves to ban Iranian crude exports cripple its lifeblood energy sector, fanning fears of a descent into wider Middle East war.

Tehran, which denies suspicions it is seeking nuclear weapons, was riled earlier this week when Saudi Arabia asserted it could swiftly raise oil output for key customers if needed, a scenario that could transpire if Iranian exports were embargoed.

“We want peace and tranquility in the region. But some of the countries in our region, they want to direct other countries 12,000 miles away from this region,” Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said in English during a visit to Turkey.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry ends GOP Presidential race, endorses Newt

Texas Gov. Rick Perry ended his campaign for president Thursday morning. “This mission is greater than any one man,” Perry said at a South Carolina press conference announcing the decision. Perry immediately endorsed Newt Gingrich, calling him “a conservative visionary who can transform our country.”