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Ramezanzadeh says Iran will not hold talks with US at NATO meeting

Tehran, Feb 5, IRNA -- Tehran announced Wednesday that it would not hold any talks with the US in the upcoming NATO meeting.

Government spokesman Abdollah Ramezanzadeh said at his weekly press briefing that Iran will attend the NATO meeting which is to focus on security in the Persian Gulf.

Ramezanzadeh said that Tehran believes its presence in the NATO meeting would provide it with the opportunity to inform others of its viewpoints and influence the decisions of the forum.

He said that Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi will possibly attend the NATO meeting.

The spokesman reiterated the irrevocability of Iran's principled stance on regional developments, saying that Iran opposes war in the region, believing that a new war in a region such as the Middle East, which is high in tension, would solve no regional and international problem.

Commenting on the US Secretary of State Colin Powell's report to the UN Security Council on Iraq's development of mass destruction, Ramezanzadeh said the US should have forwarded evidence(s), if any, to the Security Council sooner. He said that if should clarify the reason for the delay in delivering relevant reports and evidences to the Council.

"Presumably, the report points to application of weapons of mass destruction against Iranian people by the Iraqis; the role of those supplying Iraq with the weapons should be clarified," said Ramezanzadeh.

He said Iran would not oppose any decision by the Security Council in dealing with Iraq's development of weapons of mass destruction but would not, at the same time, deem it necessary to change its policies on the issue.

Ramezanzadeh referred to Kharrazi's visit to London, saying he is scheduled to hold talks with British leaders on important regional issues, likely invasion on Iraq and issues of mutual interest.

The government's economic achievements in the current Iranian year (March 2002-2003), included unified forex rates, a 6.5 percent growth in economy, 10 percent growth in agriculture and creation of 300,000 jobs, added Ramezanzadeh.

He said that in the political scene, the government has been able to broaden ties with other countries, upgrade international status of the country and create an open atmosphere for civil institutions.

... Payvand News - 2/6/03 ... --

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