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Iran encouraged by Europe's stance on its nuclear program

Iran said Sunday that it is encouraged by Europe's stance regarding Tehran's nuclear program, including its refusal to submit to Washington's pressures to report the Islamic Republic to the UN Security Council, IRNA reported from Tehran.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi also said Tehran would further fulfill its commitments to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), including by submitting complementary information about its nuclear program, whose peaceful nature has been verified by the watchdog agency.

"We will carry out whatever is needed in the framework of the safeguards and non-proliferation treaties (NPT) and submit the necessary information by the next February, when the next session is held," he told reporters during his weekly news briefing.

Asefi ruled out speculation that the bloc may now choose to backtrack on its stance, saying existing signs in this respect pointed to the contrary.

"The Europeans have acted in a committed way so far and we hope that they will be such in the future. The way they have been behaving is encouraging us to have a serious and constructive cooperation," he said.

Asked to comment on an alleged agreement between Washington and London, for the latter to join unilateral American sanctions against Iran, the official said, "We have received no confirmed news in this regard. Rather, we have received news to the contrary.

"British Foreign Secretary Mr (Jack) Straw has stressed on his country's resolve to expand relations with Iran. Meanwhile, Britain played a positive role in the recent meeting of the (IAEA) Board of Governors," Asefi added.

According to the official, "There is a good understanding with the European Union and we are in negotiations on all issues of interest. "As stated by European officials, a new chapter has opened in the ties between the two sides," Asefi added.

He also hoped that those countries which did not act according to Tehran's expectations in the IAEA Board of Governors' meeting to examine Iran's nuclear program 'will act such that besides, making up for their past, they will create a suitable environment to maintain cooperation'.

The European countries, led by Britain, France and Germany, opposed Washington's proposal to refer Iran's nuclear program case to the Security Council for possible sanctions during the 35-nation's meeting Wednesday, arguing that Tehran must be rewarded for its openness and cooperation.

Iran is building a nuclear power plant in the southern city of Bushehr with Russian assistance, and has held negotiations to build a second plant.

The secretary of the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), Hassan Rowhani, said here Saturday that Tehran has plans for the construction of six other nuclear plants.

... Payvand News - 11/30/03 ... --

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