Iran News ...


6/28/03

Iran says UK's Straw to debate issues of mutual interest in Tehran visit

Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi said in Tehran on Saturday that the British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw will visit Tehran on Sunday to discuss issues of mutual interest, IRNA reported.

Asefi told IRNA that Straw's visit was part of constant contacts between Tehran and London, stressing that he will debate all issues of mutual concern at regional and international levels with Iranian officials.

He also said that Iran will inform the British foreign secretary about Iran's position to the effect that occupation troops must leave the Iraqi territory "at once".

Asefi also said that Iran stresses avoiding a selective approach toward terrorism, and adopting a transparent mechanism to deal with the issue.

"Tehran believes that uprooting terrorism will only succeed through the cooperation of all members of the international community and as a result of a collective effort," he said.

Asefi further regretted that some Western states continue to support certain terrorist organizations, adding that Europe's serious determination to take an unbiased approach toward terrorism will set the stage for a constructive international cooperation to confront the issue.

"Iran has always been determined in fighting terrorism, and has always acted according to its international commitments," he said.

"Tehran will continue the same policy in the future."

Elsewhere in his remarks, the Iranian foreign ministry spokesman said the support by certain countries for the state terrorism of the Zionist regime has already undermined an international campaign against the phenomenon.

The British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw will arrive in Tehran on Sunday for a two-day state visit.

The visit follows Iran's formal protest to British Ambassador in Tehran Richard Dalton last Tuesday over remarks made by Prime Minister Tony Blair that were considered to be an interference in the country's internal affairs.

"The Foreign Secretary's visit is a continuation of the British government's engagement with Iran," a British Foreign Office spokesman in London told IRNA.

He said that British policy, which has been recently changed to a "constructive and conditional dialogue," was to "support the process of reform in Iran and its emerging democracy and stability."

The visit follows Iran making a formal protest to British Ambassador in Tehran Richard Dalton last Tuesday over remarks made by Prime Minister Tony Blair that were considered to be an interference in the country's internal affairs.

It also comes amid fears that Blair may be trying to repeat his role in supporting the US war against Iraq, by pressing the European Union to back the growing US propaganda campaign against Iran.

Several British MPs, including former Foreign Secretary Robin Cook, have expressed alarm about the dangers of the rhetoric coming from Washington.

Cook warned Blair at the end of May that he must "not be suckered a second time" by the US over Iran as it was over Iraq. "Britain was conned into a war to disarm a phantom threat in which not even our major ally really believed," he said about the Iraq war.

The Foreign Office spokesman told IRNA that during the visit, Straw will be taking up issues of regional and international concern.

... Payvand News - 6/28/03 ... --



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