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Khatami: Tehran's opposition to war does not mean support for Baghdad

Bushehr, Feb 15, IRNA -- President Mohammad Khatami said here Saturday Tehran's opposition to the US plans for war on Iraq does not mean Iran's support for Baghdad.

After a trip to Assalouyeh in southern Bushehr province, President Khatami told a gathering of the Iranian and foreign reporters that though Iran has sustained widespread loss and damage from the Baghdad regime but it is against any action to meddle in the affairs of other states.

Commenting on the evil consequences of the war in the region, Khatami noted that the repercussions of the war would plunge the entire region into a deep crisis.

Khatami criticized the unilateral policies of Washington and said the US policies are indication of the very fact that the United States ignore the international treaties and laws and regulations.

He said the US policies are even at loggerhead with the interests of the American people and hoped that the international community would adopt measures to prevent a destructive war in the region.

The Persian Gulf region is in want of peace and stability, he said adding that the Islamic Republic of Iran would determine and implement its policies based on its national interests.

He said the US anti-Iran sanctions are more detrimental to the American companies than to the Iranian nation.

He said the European and Asian major companies have in the past years taken part in Iran's developmental projects without taking into consideration the US sanctions against Iran.

Elsewhere in his remarks, the president hoped that the coalition for peace would be formed in order to bring justice to the world and to remove violence, terror, war and bloodletting.

Responding to a question by a journalists on Iran's plans to produce oil, the president said Iran would produce oil based on its quota determined by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

The president said some 35 million people in Iran are enjoying the gas supplies and the officials hope to increase the gas supplies for the masses.

He gave comments on the Iranian projects in the South Pars gas and oil fields and stressed the need to profit from the foreign companies expertise in the development of Iran's energy fields.

President Khatami who inaugurated the second and third phases of the South Pars development projects in Assalouyeh in the southern province of Bushehr on Saturday insisted on using the oil and gas revenues for investment in production of goods with high-value added.

Iran has signed contracts worth dlrs 10 billion for developing oil and gas resources in the region to bring in revenues of dlrs seven billion a year, he noted.

With the projects underway in South Pars field Iran is expected to turn into a major olefin, aromatic and methanol production center in the region, Khatami noted.

During a special ceremony attended by Iranian and foreign experts, Khatami unveiled earlier today the memorial plaque of the second and third Phases of the South Pars gas field.

The second and third phases of the South Pars development projects are among the main oil and gas projects to become operational during the president's current visit.

President Mohammad Khatami arrived in Assalouyeh in the southern province of Bushehr on Saturday to inaugurate several major oil and gas projects of the South Pars.

The ministers of oil, labor and social affairs, governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI), director of the Petrochemical Company, members of the Majlis Energy Commission and a number of Iran-based foreign representatives accompanied the president during his one-day visit to Assalouyeh.

... Payvand News - 2/16/03 ... --

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