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Iranian MP rejects report on secret meeting with Belgian envoy to Tehran

A senior parliamentary commission head has rejected reports about a secret meeting with Belgian ambassador to Tehran, which resulted in alleged cancellation of President Mohammad Khatami's trip to Belgium, IRNA reported from Tehran.

In a statement faxed to IRNA, Mohsen Mirdamadi, head of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, described reports about his meeting with Guillaume Metten as a 'sheer lie'.

Press recently said that Mirdamadi and Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Mohsen Aminzadeh had secretly met Metten, following which Khatami cancelled his trip to Belgium.

"The report about my meeting along with Mr. Mohsen Aminzadeh, deputy foreign minister, with the Belgian ambassador is a sheer lie, the official said.

"I have held no meeting or visit so far outside the normal agenda of Majlis with foreign ambassadors and dignitaries.

"All my meetings with foreign ambassadors and other dignitaries are coordinated through the foreign ministry and the head office for international and official reception affairs of the Islamic Consultative Assembly (parliament)," Mirdamadi said.

The Islamic Republic has not officially announced whether Khatami intended to travel to Belgium.

There was speculation that Khatami had allegedly cancelled the visit in response to the European Union's demand from Tehran to sign an additional protocol to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

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.

The signing could allow the international atomic watchdog to carry out more intrusive inspection of the Islamic Republic's nuclear facilities.

... Payvand News - 7/27/03 ... --

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