Tehran, Oct 22, IRNA -- President Mohammad Khatami said on Sunday that
he was pleased with the visit to Tehran of Spanish Prime Minister Jose
Speaking at a joint press conference with Aznar, President Khatami
said Iran and Spain shared common views on many issues and called
for development of bilateral relations in political, economic and
The president said Tehran and Madrid are interested in fair peace
and stability in the world and believe that relations between
countries should be based on mutual respect, adding that the two
countries also seek peace in the Middle East based on justice.
He said both Iran and Spain are the victims of terrorism and are
determined to eradicate it.
President Khatami said Iran and Spain regard dialogue of
civilizations as a basis for relations between nations.
He said dispute among states are normal and the two countries
believe that dialogue is the main basis for settlement of the
For his part, Aznar expressed pleasure with his visit to the
Islamic Republic of Iran and said he held 'fruitful' negotiations
with President Khatami on objectives pursued by Tehran and Madrid.
He appreciated the initiative of Dialogue Among Civilizations
put forward by President Khatami and said talks with the Iranian
president on political, economic, cultural and scientific areas would
serve to boost bilateral relations.
The Spanish prime minister said the two countries would announce
joint undertakings to upgrade economic relations and launch joint
campaign against drug trafficking.
Aznar said Spain has extended a 600 million dollar credit
guarantee insurance for exports to Iran. Of course the current
insurance cover already existed and it has just been extended to
support Spanish exports to Iran.
The prime minister hoped that President Khatami would visit Spain
Then President Khatami and Prime Minister Aznar answered the
questions raised by reporters.
IRIB reporter asked the president whether he discussed regional
issues with the Spanish prime minister, the president said, "In this
round of talks we discussed general issues, but we will go to details
in the next round of talks tonight. We emphasized that in any
peacemaking process the rights of opposing parties should be taken
Reporter of Spanish daily, El Mundo asked the president whether
Iran would use its influence with Hezbollah of Lebanon to secure the
release of three Israeli soldiers and what is Iran's reaction to
the oil price rise?
President Khatami said Hezbollah is a Lebanese and Arab popular
movement over which Iran has no authority.
"Hezbollah is a movement fighting to liberate the occupied
territories from the usurpers and ascribing Hezbollah to any other
country is devoid of reality," said the president.
In the Middle East, a lasting peace should be established on the
basis of recognizing the right to sovereignty of the Palestinian
nation living both in the occupied Palestine or in exile, otherwise
peace will not be achieved in the Middle East, President Khatami said.
He said today something is taking place in the Palestinian
territory, adding that all should take this as a lesson.
The unarmed Palestinian youth are on one side seeking sovereignty
over their lands and the occupation force are on the other side
savagely attacking civilians, the president said.
President Khatami referred to the death toll among the Palestinian
youth and children in the past three weeks and the considerable number
of those wounded in Palestine and said the struggle of the Palestinian
nation is the explosion of anger of the people whose rights have
been trampled upon for many years.
On the rise of oil price, the president said Iran believes that
the interests of both producers and consumers should be respected
adding that oil export is in fact export of capital from the
producing states and oil plays a vital role in the world economy.
He said the OPEC leaders made decisions in Caracas Summit to help
stabilize the market, serving the interests of both producers and
In response to a question by IRNA about Iran-Spain and Iran-EU
relations, Aznar said, "My visit to Iran and President Khatami's
visits to European states indicate that there have been progress
and I hope it will become even better."
The prime minister said a golden opportunity now at hand should be
utilized to cement ties.
He said he would provide a report to the European Union (EU)
states about his talks with President Khatami in Tehran in order to
explore areas cooperation between Iran and EU members.
Aznar who is on a two-day visit to the Islamic Republic of Iran is
expected to be received by Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution
Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei.
President Khatami and the prime minister will hold second round
of talks later Sunday. He is scheduled to hold talks with Majlis
Speaker Hojatoleslam Mehdi Karrubi and members of Majlis Commission
on Foreign Policy and National Security.
Aznar will also visit Isfahan before heading for home Monday.