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Iran may consider holding talks with US on equal footing: Interior Minister

Shiraz, Fars Prov, Oct 24, IRNA-Iran may consider holding talks with the United States if talks are held on an equal footing and based on mutual respect, Interior Minister Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi said in Shiraz on Monday.

Talking to IRNA, Pour-Mohammadi however said that the atmosphere currently is not ready for holding talks.

"We find no reason to talk with the US. We doubt Washington's integrity and it is not clear what its goals are for wanting to talk to us as revealed in recent offers made through intermediaries.

"There is no room for negotiations for as long as the United States adopts a hostile attitude towards our national interests," he said.

"Talks will be held only with a party that respects the rights of others. When Washington does not respect our rights, it is useless to hold talks.

"We will never surrender the defense of our national interests and security and will appear in whatever organization or conference to firmly defend our rights.

"The matter of holding negotiations is not routine and requires appropriate circumstances. Preparations should be made to lay the right atmorphere for holding talks."

Asked about the possibility of Iran being referred to the UN Security Council, the minister added: "We defend our rights in accordance with international law, rules and regulations and we do not see ourselves as having violated any of the provisions of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

"We see no reason for Iran's nuclear dossier to be sent to the UNSC.

"The issue cannot be forthwith reported to the Security Council, thanks to Iranian political measures and convergence with the international community. But if it does reach there, countries which favor the referral will be the most harmed."

Pour-Mohammadi added: "As far as the people are concerned, there is no turning back when it comes to Iran's nuclear programs. The country's capacity and right give it the extraordinary power to defend its position securely if the case is reported to the UN Security Council."

... Payvand News - 10/24/05 ... --

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