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Iranian VP says Iran firm in continuing talks with IAEA

Vice-President for Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Mohammad-Ali Abtahi said in Tehran on Wednesday that Iran is serious in continuing talks with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), IRNA reported.

Talking to reporters after weekly cabinet meeting, Abtahi regretted the IAEA`s recent resolution against Iran despite Tehran`s extensive cooperation with the agency, saying different strategies should be worked out for cooperation with the UN nuclear watchdog. Abtahi said the Tehran`s approach towards domestic political issues and national security can affect the issue.

As for recent attacks on the UK Embassy in Tehran, Abtahi said the government will seriously follow up the issue. He asked the informational ministry and the Islamic Republic of Iran`s Police (IRIP) to probe the issue.

"Attack on an embassy is a kind of chaos in the country; attack on embassies is condemned; our national and state duties require us to protect foreign diplomats and expect other countries to do the same in case of Iranian diplomats," said Abtahi.

As whether President Mohammad Khatami intends to introduce to Majlis a person to undertake responsibilities of Ministry of Science, Research and Technology, Abtahi said no such decision had been made in that connection.

Switching to elections for seventh term of Majlis, Abtahi hoped for massive turnout of people in the upcoming polls.

Elsewhere in the interview, Abtahi said that government has done its due job in the case of the late Iranian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi, who died of brain hemorrhage in June in process of interrogation.

Abtahi said the Iranian people are interested to see a national case being dealt with more speedily and with more transparency based on logical and firm proofs and evidences. He said all dimensions of the case should be taken into consideration and all persons involved in the case should be brought to book.

"Death of Zahra Kazemi affected many political issues, including tough approach of the Canadian government and ratification of the (IAEA) resolution against Iran," said Abtahi.

... Payvand News - 9/17/03 ... --

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