Iran News ...


1/6/04

Iran 'ready to play positive role' in Iraq, says UK's Greenstock

Britain's special envoy to Iraq, Sir Jeremy Greenstock says that he feels "reassured" that Iran wants to play a positive role in restoring Iraq after holding talks in Tehran, IRNA reported from London.

During his discussions with Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi on Monday, he said that he found "similar objectives from different standpoints on what we want out of Iraq".

"I think they genuinely believe that a stable Iraq, a secure Iraq and a prosperous Iraq means Iraqis taking charge of their own affairs without interference, just as they would want in Iran," Greenstock said Tuesday in an interview with BBC radio from Tehran.

Following the talks, he said that he thought Iran was "prepared to be more cooperative" but that "they want there interests served as well".

Both countries want terrorism dealt with and Iran wants to make sure that the Mojahedin-e-Khalq terrorist group based in Iraq is "dealt with and out of the way", the former British ambassador to the UN said.

"They want to make sure the UK and US do not go down a route they are not able to deal with in the long term. They want to make sure there is no hidden agenda of aggression against Iran," he said.

Greenstock said that Iran also wanted cooperation with the occupying coalition on oil, electricity and commercial relations and wanted free access for its pilgrims to holy sites in Iraq.

The purpose of his first visit to Tehran since taking up his appointment as Prime Minister Tony Blair's special representative to Iraq four months ago was to explore what was in Iran's interests, he said.

Now that Iran have seen the date for ending the UK-US occupation in Iraq "they look as though they are more relaxed about where this is going and therefore prepared to play - so long as we respond and reciprocate - a positive role," Greenstock said.

He also believed that Iran was using its influence in the region and "beginning to play it more positively", adding that he thought it was a "good move".

Fears that Iran wanted to install a "clone" style of government appeared to be unfounded as "they have been telling me 'please produce what the Iraqis want for Iraq'", the envoy said.

Asked about the possibilities of a rapprochement between Washington and Tehran, he said that both counties would like to have better relations but that is a matter for the US and Iran to sort out.

... Payvand News - 1/6/04 ... --



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