Egypt: Iran Should Not Test West Over Nuclear Question

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Iran should not give Western nations the justification to "drag the region down a dangerous slope" by its lack of transparency and flexibility in the conflict over its nuclear program, Egypt's presidential spokesman said Saturday.

Speaking after a meeting between Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Saudi King Abdallah in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, spokesman Suleiman Awwad defended Iran's right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes but said the Islamic Republic should give more assurances to the international community.

Iran has refused to comply with repeated international demands to halt nuclear enrichment, a process that can be used to produce fuel for nuclear weapons or nuclear energy.

"Iran should not present on a silver platter the justifications and the pretexts for those who want to drag the region down a dangerous slope," he said.

He noted the case of Saddam Hussein, who didn't adequately refute claims over Iraq's supposed weapons of mass destruction before the U.S.-led invasion in 2003 that toppled him.

"Iran owes the international community transparency and flexibility," he said. "The Gulf is extremely worried and the Middle East is watching the standoff."