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Iranian FM: Increase in nuclear partners under investigation

Tehran, Jan 24, IRNA-Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said in Tehran on Monday that the proposed plan for increasing Iran's nuclear partners was investigated during a recent visit of Russian delegation to Iran.

Speaking at a joint press conference with visiting Qatari Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabr al-Thani, Mottaki said that during a recent visit of a Russian delegation to Tehran, a plan for likely participation of China in nuclear ventures was discussed to certain extent.

Mottaki said the two sides partly discussed the possibility of increasing the partners in the project and there are yet certain other components which should be taken into consideration.

He said that China and other countries can contribute to ventures linked to Iran's nuclear activities.

On Iran's nuclear stances at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Mottaki said, "We have tried to explain in different ways to IAEA Board of Governors members, the EU3, China, Russia and the NAM members that debates on research are different from discussions on the production of nuclear fuel.

"Since our research is merely scientific and academic, our friends (IAEA Board members) should not deal with the case in the Board's extraordinary session in a way that cannot be managed by either side." Referring to Iran's letter to the EU3 for return to the atmosphere of talks, Mottaki said, "We believe a friendly bridge can be built and a sort of full-fledged cooperation can be established for two main pivots of the nuclear debates, i.e. certain countries' concern over Iran's nuclear activities and restoration of Iran's legal and natural rights."

In an interview with reporters after the first round of talks with his Qatari counterpart, Mottaki termed Iran-Qatar economic relations as 'progressive' and said the two sides have reached agreement on holding the fifth session of Tehran-Doha Joint Economic Commission in near future after a lapse of one year from the fourth meeting.

Stressing the importance of energy sector for both countries, Mottaki said they should have more discussions on a mutual agreement in that connection.

He said a joint political committee is to operate at the level of the directors general to follow up the new chapters in expansion of bilateral relations.

Al-Thani for his part said, "Both parties believe that bilateral economic relations are not in line with wishes of the two countries' statesmen but based on an agreement reached between the two sides, positive practical steps should be taken for expansion of the ties." As for operation on South Pars joint gas field, Al-Thani said in that connection an agreement is at hand which takes into account the friendship between Iran and Qatar. "We can settle other issues as well," he concluded.

... Payvand News - 1/24/06 ... --

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