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Rouhani: Iran's army supports regional stability

The President of Iran says he wants to improve relations with neighboring countries, and insists that his military is contributing to regional stability.

Hassan Rouhani addressed a military parade on the country's National Army Day on Friday in the outskirts of Tehran.

He said Iran has no intention of invading any country, and he added that Iran's neighbors should know its army supports peace and stability.

Rouhani also said support by the armed forces and brave Iranians empowered officials in charge of talks with Western countries about Tehran's nuclear program.

One foreign diplomat at the parade said it appeared smaller than usual. He also noted the absence of ballistic missiles, and said Rouhani's speech contained fewer radical messages than those of his predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Rouhani took office last year. He has called for better relations with Europe and the United States.

But Saudi Arabia and some other neighboring countries are at odds with Iran over the situation in Syria. They fear that Iran's rapprochement with the United States and the EU might help increase its influence.

Apr. 18, 2014 - Updated 21:06 UTC