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Solana says Iran has right to peaceful nuclear technology

EU Foreign Policy and Security Chief Javier Solana met on Monday with Iran's head of Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Mohsen Mirdamadi, IRNA reported from Tehran.

Mirdamadi said Tehran-EU relations have been on cordial path in all areas and should expand in the future.

The Majlis Public Relations Department reported that Mirdamadi referred to the special status of Majlis in Iran's political milieu as the defender of human rights. "The public opinion both inside and outside the country is aware of that."

He said Iran, as signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and its additional protocol, is bound to abide by all the international nuclear conventions.

"We also believe that any additional demand aiming to restrict Iran's peaceful nuclear activities is uncalled for."

He said 'Tehran Deceleration' on Iran's nuclear cooperation with EU "is indicative of superiority of the policy of constructive engagement over that of confrontation."

The signing of the additional protocol by Iran has paved the way for participation by the EU in Iran's peaceful nuclear program.

Through sharing technology and knowledge the EU will also be more assured of Iran's peaceful nuclear program, Mirdamadi underlined.

Solana said EU recognized Iran's legitimate right to use peaceful nuclear technology and "is ready for closer cooperation to assist in this framework."

He alluded to the need for forging closer parliamentary ties between the two sides, expressing hope that the upcoming parliamentary elections heralds new chapters in the relations.

Solana arrived here for a two-day visit Sunday night and held meetings with Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi and Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council Hassan Rowhani.

On Tuesday, he will visit Bam 'to pay tribute to all those involved in the rescue operations, as well as to express the EU's solidarity to the populations affected, as well as the commitment to providing assistance to the humanitarian and reconstruction efforts'.

According to a statement issued by Solana's office in Brussels Saturday, the visit takes place in the context of Europe's mandate to 'discuss the modalities of taking forward the EU's dialogue with Iran in all areas'.

Khatami asks Europe to fulfill its nuclear pledges to Iran

Tehran, Jan 12, IRNA -- President Mohammad Khatami on Monday urged Europe to honor its 'commitments' toward Iran, made during a landmark visit of three key European foreign ministers to Tehran in October.

"Tehran expects its European friends to honor their commitments and accords," he said in a meeting with EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana here.

Iran apparently received assurances from Europe during the visit of British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw and his French and German counterparts Dominique de Villepin and Joschka Fischer respectively to Tehran in October to sign to an unfettered inspections of its nuclear facilities and suspend uranium enrichment.

Khatami said, "We are not worried about the world knowing what we are doing. However, we expect that the others also fulfill their pledges."

Tehran is under a de facto nuclear embargo, which bans the sale of nuclear know-how, including goods with double use, to the Islamic Republic.

Khatami described the existing 'understanding and interaction' between Iran and Europe a 'successful and effective experience', but chided the European Union for voting the Islamic Republic in breach of human rights.

The human rights situation in Iran is not comparable to that in many countries and foreign pressures in this regard on Tehran are unjust, he added.

Khatami underlined the existing differences among world countries over the criteria and norms of human rights and Iran's efforts to convince the international community about its own values with regard to the human rights issue.

Ties between Iran and EU are 'acceptable', moving on a 'logical track', he said adding, "Iran as the most stable country of the region and Europe with its historic record and possibilities can forge strong cooperation."

He thanked the European countries for extending sympathy and assistance to those affected in a deadly earthquake in the southeastern city of Bam.

Khatami said, "The Islamic Republic, with the use of other countries' experiences and modern technology, has made a massive planning to reduce the harmful impacts of natural disasters, including earthquakes, and continues to do so."

The president outlined Tehran's views with regard to the occupation of Iraq and its fallout, saying the Arab country's problem would be resolved only under international efforts and the participation of the United Nations and regional countries.

Khatami reiterated the need for concerted efforts of Iraq's neighbors as well the EU and UN for a rapid establishment of a popular government in that country.

Solana, for his part, voiced his satisfaction over the world countries' assistance to the victims of 'sad' earthquake in Bam.

The EU foreign policy chief reiterated the bloc's will for deepening relations with Tehran. Solana said the European Union sought to forge ties according to mutual respect, even under a difficult situation, where the existence of differences are likely.

He hoped that cooperation between Iran and EU would continue on a close, constructive and long-term platform.

... Payvand News - 1/13/04 ... --

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