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Iran, IAEA focus on action plan to bring ties on normal track

Tehran, April 7, IRNA -- Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said on Wednesday that it was a good time for the visit to Iran of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Mohamed ElBaradei.

Kharrazi told reporters after the cabinet meeting that ElBaradei exchanged views with Iranian officials about future Iran-IAEA programs.

"Iran and the IAEA agreed on an action plan which should be carried out by the next meeting between Iran and the agency and that Iran-IAEA relations should fall into normal track," Kharrazi said.

"The action plan has three parties: Iran, IAEA and the Europeans. The international agency is keen on it and success will depend on cooperation of all the three parties," he said.

"The agency is expected to fulfill its international obligation appropriately and not to allow the others to misuse the monitoring process. For its part, Iran should also go ahead with close cooperation with the agency. The Europeans should honor their commitments too to enable the action plan to succeed. Otherwise, it will fail," Kharrazi said.

Asked whether ElBaradei conveyed a warning to Iran, Kharrazi said that there was no warning and that the visit took place as per coordination.

"Iran has voluntarily suspended uranium enrichment and is free to resuming the work, because, it was done voluntarily and there had been no requirement in this respect," he said.

"Suspension of uranium enrichment took place as a confidence building measure. It is not something permanent and Iran is determined to take advantage of nuclear energy for civilian purpose," Kharrazi said.

Responding to a question about the performance of European countries consistent with Tehran Declaration signed on October 21 with German, British and French foreign ministers, he said they exercised satisfactory cooperation.

"Of course, it is a difficult work and we should not think that it is simple. The atmosphere for cooperation has been contaminated with political goals," he said.

A reporter asked about the meeting of foreign ministers of the Caspian states held in Moscow on Tuesday, Kharrazi said it paved the way for progress of negotiations about the issues concerning the Caspian Sea.

"Final statement of the meeting included important issues -- the upcoming summit of leaders of the Caspian states in Tehran and the agenda of the summit. The foreign ministers also discussed the legal regime of the Caspian Sea and that the interests of the neighboring countries should be defined within the framework of international law," he said.

"I hope that the summit which will be held in the second half of the current year, 2004, will help bring about serious cooperation in the region in different areas ranging from security, economy to shipping. I hope that an organization will take shape in the Caspian to resolve the problems by the regional countries themselves," Kharrazi said.

On Iraq, he expressed regret at the current crisis in the country and blamed the US mistakes for the growing crisis. Iran never supports violence and believes that the crisis should be resolved peacefully, he said.

He called on the parties in Iraq to exercise self-restraint and said that the Iraqi people should form a committee to enforce law and order.

"It is a strategic mistake if the US thought it would deal with people with the same tactic it toppled Saddam Hussein," Kharrazi said.

... Payvand News - 4/7/04 ... --

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