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7/15/03

EU foreign policy chief welcomes 'positive' Iranian cooperation with IAEA

EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana has said he was happy with the results of international nuclear watchdog head Mohamed ElBaradei's last week visit to Iran and Tehran's 'positive' cooperation with IAEA, Foreign Ministry said Tuesday, IRNA reported from Tehran.

Talking to Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi by telephone, Solana also welcomed Tehran's constructive stance and its transparent performance in cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency, it added.

The EU foreign policy chief described the European Union's relations with the Islamic Republic as 'good' and hoped that the two sides' cooperation would expand in the 'light of mutual understanding on their issues of interest'.

Kharrazi assessed ElBaradei's last week discussions with Iranian officials on the country's nuclear energy programs as 'positive', the Foreign Ministry's information and press affairs office said.

The minister highlighted Iran's constructive and transparent stance in cooperation with IAEA and 'stressed the need for removing the ambiguities, seen by our country, about the Additional Protocol".

The International Atomic Energy Agency demands that Iran sign the Additional Protocol to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty which could allow more intrusive inspections of Iran's nuclear energy facilities.

Tehran says it would sign the protocol provided that nuclear powers lift their sanctions on Iran and help the country acquire the know-how for peaceful use of nuclear energy.

Kharrazi criticized recent statements of certain European officials, who had said Iran's signing of the Additional Protocol could still be inadequate, for 'creating problems in the process of cooperation' between Tehran and IAEA.

"The question to ask is if so, what's the good of signing it by the Islamic Republic of Iran," the minister said, adding Iranian people have the right that the 'ambiguities' surrounding the Additional Protocol are removed.

On Sunday, the Iranian foreign minister held phone talks with his German counterpart, in which Kharrazi criticized Joschka Fischer's 'unhelpful' statements.

Fischer had reportedly said that his country wanted the European Union to put more pressure on Iran to halt developing nuclear technology.

The German foreign minister said Berlin welcomes Tehran's cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini also telephoned Kharrazi on Monday to discuss Tehran's peaceful nuclear programs as well as taking up EU dialogue with the Islamic Republic from where it was left off.

Commenting on IAEA demand that Tehran sign the additional protocol to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Kharrazi said, "Western countries must remove our worries in order to pave the way for the possibility of further cooperation."

... Payvand News - 7/15/03 ... --



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