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Iranian government spokesman dismisses Rice's recent anti-Iran remarks

Tehran, Feb 7, IRNA -- Government spokesman Abdullah Ramezanzadeh on Monday lashed out at the US State Secretary Condoleezza Rice's recent Iran claims, saying Iranian officials have time and again declared negotiations as a principle favored by Tehran but the such talks should be made under their own special conditions.

"One cannot threaten on the one hand and invite to talks on the other hand; the literature used for the Islamic Republic of Iran should change so that we would be able to decide whether to hold negotiations or not," said Ramezanzadeh in his weekly press conference.

Ramezanzadeh said, "We have decided to put an end to the discussions when they say something today and we respond to them later; and it is to give only one word in reply and not to deal further on the issue."

He added, "In our point of view, responding to their repeated statements is not even a little bit worthy of the government.

"Our nation has proved that it has never allowed any aggressor take any advantage from aggression on Iran and we have proved that we defend what we decide and have necessary preparedness for defense of the country under any circumstances.

"The language of threat is not acceptable to us and we do not fear threats; we favor dialogue and talks and under equal conditions, we raise our comments and defend the interests of the country through logic; but all the Iranian nation will defend their own country it a day comes to do do that."

In remarks on Thursday, Rice made clear Washington was unwilling to become involved in European negotiations to broker a deal that would offer economic incentives to Iran if it agreed to drop production of nuclear fuel for generating electricity.

Meanwhile, Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi said on Monday that negotiations with the EU have not reached a deadlock and still continue.

However, he added Britain, France and Germany should show greater commitment when talks recommence this week.

"We think the Europeans must be more serious and show more dynamism," said Asefi.

Turning to Iran-Europe nuclear talks, government spokesman Ramezanzadeh said, "We would remain committed only to the protocols we have signed."

Ramezanzadeh said the point in talks with Europe is that no conclusion has yet been gained and Tehran expects the transparent stances of both parties would be raised in the talks sooner to reach a conclusion.

He said, "We have announced that we have accepted suspension of the uranium enrichment program) voluntarily and are ready for talks; Presently too we consider continuation of talks as the only option, insisting continuation of the talks but would not allow the time schedule for the purpose to take too long."

The point at stake in talks with Europeans is Tehran's right to set the time schedule for resumption of peaceful nuclear activities and this has nothing to do with the claims of the US President George W. Bush and Mrs. Rice, said Ramezanzadeh.

"Of course, Americans are naturally willing to create problems in the process of the talks; this depends on the extent to which the European side is under their pressure.

"We are definitely taking prolongation of the talks on peaceful use of nuclear energy against our interests and do our best to have the talks come to an end and we insist on the issue," added the government spokesman.

Elsewhere in the press conference, Ramezanzadeh said Iran does not support double-standard approach towards terrorism, expecting Iraqi government to take actions for expulsion of terrorists from their territory.

On Iran-UAE relations, Ramezanzadeh said, "We are for relations with all the neighboring states and the Iran-UAE relations are in a good level."

He said that certain comments by UAE officials have negative reactions in Iranian community, building up pressures on government, which has so far been resisting them.

He added that Tehran expects the statements and comments would not be so that would arouse the sentiments of the Iranian people.

Meanwhile, Ramezanzadeh called on Iranian people to massively take part in the Bahman 22nd rallies, marking the 26th triumph anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

"I invite all social strata on behalf of government to maintain unity and solidarity in defending the achievements of the revolution which does not belong to any wing and political current, and to take part in the rallies, thus showing their presence on the scene," said Ramezanzadeh.

On the upcoming presidential elections, Ramezanzadeh said Interior Ministry has taken necessary measures in different Iranian cities and has a close eye on all the election campaigns so that offenses, if any, would be reported to related officials, said Ramezanzadeh.

Asked on expansion of the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Iran, Ramezanzadeh said spread and expansion of the civil communities is one of the goals and targets of the government.

He also rejected any tough methods as proposed by certain clerics for propagating Islam.

... Payvand News - 2/7/05 ... --

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