TEHRAN, Aug. 16 (UPI) -- U.S. military and political emphasis in the Persian Gulf region serves to undermine the aspirations of the Muslim constituency, an Iranian commander said.
Iranian Brig. Gen. Ahmad Reza Pourdastan said the United States' sphere of influence was shrinking amid the regional sea change.
"In the past years, the Americans' overt objective was to gain control over the oil resources of the region ... but their ulterior motive was to prevent the spread of the awakening of Muslim countries in the region," he was quoted by Iran's state-funded broadcaster Press TV as saying.
U.S. officials last week said Washington was examining its missile defense in the region given recent tensions with Iran. A military official from Tehran countered that gulf countries can maintain "total security" in the region.
Political upheavals starting in Tunisia in late 2010 brought an end to long-standing regimes in Libya, Egypt and Yemen. A failed revolution in Syria, however, has pushed the country into civil war, heightening tensions between Damascus ally Iran and its Western adversaries.