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Spain attaches great importance to Iran: Spanish PM

Madrid, May 26, IRNA -- Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said here Tuesday that Iran plays an important role for his country.

In a meeting with visiting Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi, Zapatero expressed satisfaction over bilateral relations with Iran and voiced his country's determination to promote all-out ties and cooperation with Iran.

Iran and Spain can play an important role in strengthening international peace and security, he said, adding that such an issue can serve as a base for further cooperation between Iran and Spain.

He stressed the importance of promoting bilateral economic cooperation, saying Spain welcomes cooperation to strengthen ties between the two countries' private and state sectors.

Pointing to the Iraqi crisis, the prime minister noted that Tehran and Madrid enjoy close stand to this effect and stressed unilateralism has no place in the current century.

The Spanish government believes an Iraqi government should administrate the affairs of the country, he reiterated.

Zapatero expressed concerns over ongoing situation in the Middle East and Palestine and said every day of violence in the Middle East means one year distancing from peace and kilometers distancing from dialogue among civilizations.

He called on the 'Free World' and democratic countries to establish international peace.

He said his country's policy involves stress of expansion of ties with Islamic states, saying such policy is an appropriate base for better relations between the Islamic world and the West.

Kharrazi, for his part, congratulated Zapatero over his recent reappointment as Spanish prime minister and termed as good the current mutual relations between the two countries particularly among their companies.

He said the countries enjoy appropriate facilities for cooperation in various energy fields and can utilize bilateral potentials through understanding.

He stressed the importance of expanding consultations between Iran and Spain on regional issues and termed the current situation in Iraq as very worrisome.

"The United States committed several mistakes in Iraq and does not listen to the advice given by the others," Kharrazi said.

He said US disgrace following torture of prisoners in Abu Ghraib prison caused a deep hatred towards the United States among Islamic states.

The Iranian minister further stated that violation of sanctity of holy Iraqi cities by the occupiers raised the violence of Muslims.

"The Iraqi power should be delegated to its people at the earliest time so the country's territorial integrity and unity would be safeguarded," he said.

Kharrazi stressed formation of a broad-based government in Iraq through elections and under the supervision of the United Nations.

He also assessed the ongoing situation in the occupied Palestinian lands as "difficult and hard", saying US full support for Israel led to continuation of crimes by this occupying regime.

He then asked how the United States can talk about Greater Middle East while it keep silence towards restoration of Palestinians' rights.

Referring to Iran's nuclear case, the minister voiced his country's firm determination on full transparency of nuclear activities.

"We presented related documents to the International Atomic Energy Agency based on the (additional) protocol. Iran has no plans to produce nuclear weapons," Kharrazi said.

"Iran, however, regards peaceful use of nuclear energy as its legitimate right," he stressed.

... Payvand News - 5/26/04 ... --

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