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Iran will never conduct nuclear activities in hiding: FM

Tehran, Aug 24, IRNA -- The visiting Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi stressed that Iran's nuclear activities will never be conducted in hiding.

At a meeting with New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Phil Goff in the capital Wellington on Tuesday, Kharrazi nonetheless said that Iran's legitimate right to exploit nuclear energy should be recognized.

The Iranian minister expressed his delight over the good relations enjoyed by the two countries, saying their common interest and commitment to promote and strengthen international peace and security call for closer ties and interaction between their governments.

He referred to the exchange visits between officials and trade delegations as well as the cultural and economic exchanges as positive developments, and added that the same warm relations in the economic field can also help their economies.

During the meeting, Kharrazi briefly outlined Iran's stances on various regional and international issues.

Goff, for his part, noted Iran's sensitive and strategic location in the region, and said its role in maintaining peace and strengthening regional security cannot be ignored.

Describing Iranian society as young and with great potentials, he said this is one of the reasons why Wellington is interested in expanding its relations and increasing its interaction with the Iranian government and people.

The New Zealand minister, for his part, assessed current and traditional relations as "very useful" and called for cooperation and dialogue to promote understanding.

Pointing to the continuing IAEA investigation into Iran's nuclear activities, he said his country believes countries which are signatories to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) are not barred from pursuing nuclear activities for peaceful purposes.

Iran and New Zealand are two of the staunchest supporters to creating a nuclear-free zone, he said, stressing that this common stance should be encouraged.

He welcomed dialogue and cooperation between Iran and the IAEA, saying it was his hope that the talks would continue and bring positive results.

The two ministers also discussed latest developments in Iraq and Afghanistan, the global anti-drug campaign, terrorism and human rights.

They ended their talks with the signing of a memorandum of understanding on creating a commission to enhance political and economic cooperation.

... Payvand News - 8/24/04 ... --

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