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Iran, Russia issue joint statement

Foreign ministers of Iran and Russia here Wednesday issued a joint statement showing the sides interest in promoting the bilateral cooperation on the regional and international major issues, IRNA reported from Tehran on Wednesday.

After key talks on the latest developments in the region and in the world, Igor Ivanov of Russia and Kamal Kharrazi of Iran vowed to try to boost strategic ties and adopt similar attitudes as for a wide spectrum of issues including the Iraq crisis.

On Iraq, the two ministers called for the crisis to be settled through peaceful means and diplomatic channels due to the fact that the works of the international atomic energy agency have shown progress.

The two ministers pledged their countries would follow attempts to find a peaceful solution to the Iraq crisis with respect to the 1441 resolution and based on the United Nations charter.

They said the parliaments of Iran and Russia are also cooperating to contribute to efforts to peacefully solve the Iraq crisis.

The completion of the Gas Prom works which is operating in Iran within the framework of a consortium, the development of the phases 2 and 3 of the South Pars field of Iran and the completion of the nuclear power plants of Bushehr within the already set time as well as the carrying out of the North-South were also among the major issues mentioned by the ministers.

The sides said they would try to boost the bilateral cooperation n such areas as the exploitation of the energy resources, the aircraft building, transportation, aerospace technology, banking system and insurance.

The sides stressed the prime importance of the fourth meeting of the joint economic session staled to be held within a few days in Tehran.

They stressed the need to strengthen ties in the cultural ties while underlining their will to sign shortly a cultural agreement.

The two sides reaffirmed their strong will to continue their nuclear energy cooperation in the framework of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

They dismissed US allegations that the Islamic Republic sought to acquire weapons of mass destruction and stressed Iran's commitment to UN resolutions on the peaceful use of the atomic energy.

They reiterated that Iran's activities in the nuclear energy sector is under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency and this agency's experts will soon settle in Iran permanently.

Nuclear cooperation between Tehran and Moscow has sparked fears in Washington which claims the Islamic Republic could use the plant for producing nuclear weapons.

Iran has strongly dismissed these allegations, stressing that work on the plant is totally transparent. The country has also opened the building site to regular inspections of the UN nuclear experts who have confirmed the civilian intentions of the facilities.

Iran wants to generate 6,000 megawatts of power from the plants in the next 20 years to cope with the rising demand for energy in the country while its hydrocarbon reserves become overstretched, President Mohammad Khatami has stressed.

... Payvand News - 3/13/03 ... --

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