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Iran's FM: IAEA should not make situation more complicated

Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said in Tehran on Wednesday that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) should keep on its commitments towards Iran and avoid making the situation more complicated, IRNA reported.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the cabinet meeting, he added that if Europe fails to fulfill its commitments, the cooperation process would stop.

Regretting the improper decisions that might be taken by the IAEA board of governors, he underlined that Iran would react to such decisions.

Concerning the pressures exerted on IAEA board of governors by the US, he noted that the US officials use every opportunity for pressurizing Iran.

"Despite our closest cooperation with the IAEA and holding constant dialogues with the Europeans, the US strategy has remained unchanged. Unfortunately, the agency is also at times being influenced by the US," he added.

Turning to a letter addressed to IAEA, he said, "We had stressed that both sides should tend to cooperate. Once we take positive measures, we expect similar steps to be taken by IAEA to make the process flow, given that things would naturally won't proceed well without close cooperation."

Kharrazi noted that Iran is certainly entitled to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes and stressed the country volunteered to temporarily suspend enrichment of uranium to build up confidence in mutual ties.

He said that negotiations between Iran and other countries about the IAEA decisions are part of the political talks held with the European and other countries that play a role in the agency meeting.

In response to a question by a reporter as to whether Majlis Speaker Mehdi Karroubi's visit to France was in line with the same issue, he replied, "Karroubi made a stop over in France on his way to Senegal to attend the inter-parliamentary meeting in Dakar."

Stressing that the issue is not only the concern of Iran, but that of Europe as well, he called on the three European countries whose foreign ministers had attended the Tehran conference to keep on their commitments if they are determined to follow up the issue and achieve a positive result.

"The European states should resist the unreasonable pressures exerted by the US, or else there would be no point for us to continue such cooperation," he added.

Referring to Iraq's interim constitution, the minister reiterated that though it is provisional, there are reasons to be concerned about it, which should be taken into view in drawing up the law.

"The constitution should provide for stability, security and integrity of Iraq. Meanwhile, so far as a move has been launched to provide the preliminary grounds for transfer of power to the Iraqi people and it is of significance," he noted.

The official said that Iran-Iraq borders have been closed as a consequence of the recent tragic events in Karbala and Baghdad and the uncontrollable border-crossing by Iranian pilgrims without obtaining passports and other required documents.

"The government wants to let Iranians go on pilgrimage to the neighboring Iraq, but this requires some arrangements and keeping order," he added.

Kharrazi hoped that a new organization would take charge of organizing such pilgrimage visits. Referring to the responsibility of Iran's Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization in this respect, he looked forward to the proper handling of the issue in a much broader scope, given its wide experiences.

... Payvand News - 3/10/04 ... --

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