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7/9/06

FM: Iran, US do not hold direct talks on nuclear issue

Tehran, July 9, IRNA-Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki sain on Sunday that Iran and US do not hold direct talks about the country's nuclear issue.

He made the remark in response to a reporter from Agence France Presse, who asked whether Mottaki's remark that EU Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana cannot respond to all ambiguities about Iran's nuclear issues mean that the US is able to do so and that Iran will hold direct talks with the American officials if necessary.

Mottaki said, "The US has proposed to participate in the talks offered by the three European states, China and Russia. We see nothing wrong with it. We support fair and non-discriminatory talks with no preconditions.

"What I said does not apply to any specific country, but I mean the states by whom the package of incentives was offered to us," he added.

He said that any clarification on the content of the proposal, in particular making decisions should take place by those who drew up the proposed package.

In reply to the question raised by a Turkish reporter whether he intends to convey a message for the US by Gul, he dismissed it and said that Iran's stance is clear.

"The US has an interest section at the Swiss embassy in Iran through which any necessary message can be sent to the American officials," said the minister.

Mottaki expressed satisfaction with Iran-Turkish relations, adding that the officials of the two countries have favorable exchanges.

About Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant, he said that the major part of the project has been executed and hoped that Russia will comply with its commitments to complete the power plant as soon as possible in accordance with the mutually reached agreements.

"We have been continuously exchanging views with our Russian friends about our nuclear activities for peaceful purposes and Russia's approach to the matter has so far been based on realities.

"Particularly, their recent attitude to return the nuclear dossier from the UN Security Council to the IAEA Board of Governors is a strategic proposal, which can prepare the ground for further positive measures," he added.

Turning to Palestine, he said that Iran has so far condemned the Zionist crimes against the Palestinians in international assemblies.

Mottaki said that Iran supports the Palestinian government and people in economic field and will do its best to assist them in the reconstruction of their land.

... Payvand News - 7/9/06 ... --



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