"The political power of the occupiers (of Iraq) is being destroyed rapidly and very soon we will be witnessing a great power vacuum in the region," Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said.
"We, with the help of regional friends and the Iraqi nation, are ready to fill this void." Saudi Arabia was one of the countries Iran was ready to work with, he said.
The U.S. military accuses the Islamic Republic of arming and training militias behind some of the violence in Iraq. Iran rejects the charge and blames the presence of U.S. forces, numbering about 162,000, for the violence.
In a two-hour news conference, Ahmadinejad also rejected reports Iran had slowed nuclear work, which the West fears is aimed at making atom bombs, and said it would respond if Washington branded its Revolutionary Guards a terrorist force.
Iran, which like Iraq is majority Shi'ite Muslim, has often called on fellow Gulf states to reach a regional security pact. But Gulf Arab states, most of which are predominantly Sunnis, are suspicious of Tehran's intentions in Iraq and the region.
With Shi'ite Muslims now in power in Baghdad, ties have strengthened between Iran and Iraq since 2003, when U.S.-led forces toppled Iraq's Sunni president, Saddam Hussein, who had waged an eight-year war against Iran in the 1980s.
The region did not need countries from "thousands of kilometers away" to provide security, Ahmadinejad said, and U.S. and other forces in Iraq and Afghanistan had run out of solutions.
...Ahmadinejad dismissed reports it was not making such fast nuclear progress. "These (reports) are not true," he said.
"I want to officially announce to you that from our viewpoint the issue of Iran's nuclear case has been closed. Today Iran is a nuclear Iran, meaning that it has the complete cycle for fuel production."
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