Tehran, Iran (CNN) -- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad blamed the West for unrest bubbling throughout the Middle East and North Africa in a speech Monday on Iran's National Army Day.
"They are trying to foment discord in the region. They are trying to cause destruction and provoke wars between nations and governments in order to sell their weapons," Ahmadinejad said in a speech translated into English by state-run Press TV. "They are seeking destruction and a reinforcement of their evil dominance in the region."
The Iranian president's accusations come as NATO planes are enforcing a U.N.-approved no-fly zone over Libya and also are launching airstrikes on Libyan government troops as opposition forces battle them.
Ahmadinejad also warned of what he said are Western efforts to trigger sectarian strife between Shia and Sunni Muslims, while calling for cooperation between nations in the region.
Unrest has spread across parts of the Middle East and North Africa since January when popular uprisings began in Tunisia and Egypt, which eventually unseated the governments there. The political unease has spread in varying degrees to more than a dozen other nations.