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Iranian FM responds to hostile remarks of Iraqi officials

(Repeated with correction in dateline) Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi on Saturday referred to the anti-Iran remarks made recently by certain Iraqi officials and said they constituted proof the neighboring country was being maladministered, IRNA reported from Tehran.

Speaking at a joint press conference with the visiting Azeri Foreign Minister Elmar Mohammedyarob, he reiterated that the chaotic situation that characterizes Iraq in recent months is because the country is mismanaged.

"When the head of state forthwith rejects what is being said by another government official it puts into question whether the views of others in the same government is being listened to," he added.

Kharrazi then urged Iraqi officials to appoint a government spokesman.

"Those who oppose Iran-Iraq relations encourage their agents to speak against Iran without thinking of the consequences.

"We give importance to the remarks of Iraqi high-ranking officials and we listen to them. We hope Iraqi officials treat us in the same way and will correct the current state of affairs by reining in foreigners and remnants of Saddam Hussein's regime who continue to view us in the negative," he added.

In response to a query on Iran's decision to resume uranium enrichment in defiance of criticism from the international community, he replied that Iran was still committed to the suspension notwithstanding the European Union's failure to come up to its commitments.

"However, given that the Europeans failed to remain committed to the terms of the Brussels agreement, Iran is not anymore bound to such an agreement, in particular, to keeping its unilateral decision to suspend production of centrifuge parts, he added.

For his part, Mohammedyarov, in response to a question about his country's ties with the US, said that Azerbaijan adopts policies that serve its national interests.

"Sovereign world countries determine their policies in accordance with their national interests. Azerbaijan maintains relations with other countries based on a policy of harmonious co-existence."

... Payvand News - 7/31/04 ... --

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