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FM spokesman says Bush's recent spurt of anger caused by Iran's agreement with Europe

Tehran, Nov 21, IRNA -- Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said US officials' recent outbursts of anger at Iran were due to the nuclear deal reached with Europe that would preclude a referral of the Iranian nuclear dossier to the UN Security Council by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Speaking at his weekly press briefing, he referred to remarks of the US president and secretary of state regarding Iran's nuclear activities which showed they were displeased with the agreement concluded with Europe and the IAEA and were looking for ways to create new problems for Iran.

To a question of whether Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi was to meet his American counterpart during the Sharm-el-Sheikh summit which opens tomorrow, he said that any meeting with the US official would be futile.

He argued that Colin Powell had four years to change US policies toward Iran as secretary of state but did not do so.

"A meeting with him at the present juncture when he no longer has the authority would have little prospect," Asefi said.

Powell, it may be mentioned here, tendered his resignation as US Secretary of State on Saturday, Nov. 19.

On the probable outcome of the IAEA Board of Governors' meeting on November 25, he said that given Iran's cooperation with Europe and the IAEA there was nothing for Tehran to fear.

Asefi noted that if the meeting focused on the realities, which it was expected to, then it would come out clear that US accusations have been false and baseless.

He said the ballyhoo which the Americans have created on the issue have not been totally unexpected and unthought of.

In response to another reporter's question on whether Iran would participate in the conference on Iraq which is to open in Egypt tomorrow, Asefi replied in the positive and said that in the conference Iran would voice its objection to the continued occupation by US forces of Iraq and the need to end the massacre of Iraqis.

He said Iran will also highlight the importance of holding clean elections in Iraq on time as continued violence would have a negative effect on all other affairs of the country.

According to the spokesman, Tehran would also call the attention of conference participants to its concern over the current situation in Iraq which it believes has been caused by wrong US policies.

Meanwhile, Asefi strongly condemned the assassination of the Venezuelan deputy attorney-general, saying the fact that the assassination occurred at a time when he was working on a very important case means very clear objectives were linked to the assassination.

Voicing the Iranian government's solidarity with Venezuela, he stressed that violence and terrorism cannot be condoned at any time or place.

On the arrival of NAM representatives to inspect the Isfahan nuclear site, he said talks have been held with these representatives along with those of China, Russia as with those of the European trio of France, Germany and Britain.

He said Iran welcomes the inspection visit to prove its policy of transparency.

... Payvand News - 11/21/04 ... --

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