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Iran keen to play role in regional stability, says Italian FM

Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini on Thursday said that Iran is eager to play a positive role in establishing stability in the Middle East, IRNA reported from Rome.

Talking in a political program on Channel 1 of the state television, RAI, the ranking official added Tehran is well informed of the necessity of its cooperation in anti-terror and anti-drug campaigns, revealing positive signals.

Frattini, who met the top Iranian officials Tuesday said, "Iran is a big country and (President Mohammad) Khatami has announced the country respects its commitments and adopts transparency on its nuclear energy plans and even intends to stop uranium enrichment."

During his Tehran tour, the Italian foreign minister met ranking officials including President Khatami and Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi.

Khatami referred to his European first trip after taking office to Italy as indicative of the historical and deep-rooted cultural ties between Tehran and Rome.

"Rome is the most important economic and trade partner with Iran among the European nations and Tehran welcomes closer relations with Italy.

"Iran is the most stable country in the Middle East and it extends cooperation with all nations in preserving peace and security in the world.

"Iran-EU ties are growing, notably in nuclear energy. "We expect Europe to conform to its commitments within the framework of the Tehran Deceleration, which aims to rid the region of weapons of mass destruction (WMD)," added Khatami.

Frattini said Italy and EU are willing to expand cordial and historical ties with Tehran.

Iran has been helpful in waging an effective campaign against illicit drug smuggling, said Frattini adding Italy will cooperate with Iran in combating terrorist organizations.

... Payvand News - 1/30/04 ... --

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