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Iran to study Pelosi's possible request for talks

Tehran, April 15, IRNA - Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad-Ali Hosseini said in Tehran on Sunday that Iran would study possible request by Democratic Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi to visit Iran and hold talks with Iranian officials.

"If any official request were made, we would discuss it in due time," Hosseini told domestic and foreign reporters at his weekly press conference.

"Pelosi's office has rejected news announcing her readiness to visit Iran," he said, adding that currently, there is no reliable news in this regard.

Asked about sale of the US Embassy in Tehran, he said, "We have received no official and reliable report from official centers." The spokesman, however, added that Iran's judiciary system would make decision on the issue.

On the exact date of the future visit to Tehran of the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, he said, "The exact date has not been fixed yet."

Mohammadi further announced that managing-director of the Russian contractor in charge of construction of Bushehr power plant is scheduled to arrive in Tehran within the next few days.

Pointing to the continued seizure of five Iranian diplomats in the Iraqi city of Erbil, Hosseini expressed hope the US officials would leave obstinacy and release the diplomats at the earliest.

US forces broke into Iran's consulate in Erbil on January 11 after disarming its guards and using force to break the gate of the consulate building. They ransacked the consulate, seized six consular staff (one of whom has been released). They also seized the consulate's computers and documents.

As to upcoming meeting of Iraqi neighboring states in Iraq, he said, "Our priority is to hold the meeting with participation of Iraq's neighboring states plus Egypt and Bahrain." Consultations are underway on the issue, Hosseini added.

Iranian MP: US Democrats should prove goodwill by removing D'Amato Act

The US Democrats are expected to prove their goodwill towards Iran by removing the D'Amato Act which bans foreign firms' export to Iran of energy technology, a Majlis deputy said on Sunday.

Mohsen Kohkan from Lenjan, Isfahan, made the remarks in an address to Majlis formal session on Sunday.

Referring to the signals being sent by the US senators from the Democratic Party to visit Iran for talks with Iranian MPs, Kohkan said, "It is a good occasion the US senators would prove part of their goodwill by repealing D'Amato Act.

"As the first step to show their goodwill, the Democrats who have currently the majority in the US House of Representatives, would repeal the D'Amato Act," said the MP.

The law was introduced by New York Republican Senator Alfonse D'Amato in 1995 to discourage non-American companies from investing in Iran and Libya.

Boroujerdi sees no ground for Iran-US talks

Head of Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, Alaeddin Boroujerdi, said on Sunday that stance of the US administration toward Iran, left no ground for talks between the US House speaker and Iranian members of parliament.

Boroujerdi told IRNA that the US administration has been involved in kidnapping Iranian diplomats and taking them into custody in Iraq which run counter to the Vienna Convention.

The US administration has also been involved in torture of the Second Secretary of Iran's Embassy in Baghdad Jalal Sharafi, he said adding that practices of the US administration spoiled the situation required in the run-up to any kind of talks.

Astara's MP: US Democrats' dialogue offer not worth examining

An Iranian parliamentarian said on Sunday that the US Democrats' offer for dialogue with Iran is not worth considering.

"When the Democrats were in power they behaved the same way the Republicans do today; and on this basis, their willingness for negotiation with Iran is not worth considering," said Majlis deputy from Astara (Gilan province) Shapur Marhaba in an introductory address to open session of Majlis on Sunday.

Marhaba said though they are not governing the US, Democrats have necessary power in the two US legislative bodies -- Senate and the Congress.

"The act of sanctioning Iran (D'Amato Act) was enacted on the proposal of the Democrats. Naturally, as long as no concrete change is witnessed, nobody in Iran would take their word seriously," he said.

Harshly criticizing the US for violating human rights and international law in Iraq, Marhaba said, "The storming of Iranian representative office in Erbil, Iraq, and the ensuing kidnapping of its diplomats are instances of violation of international law by the US administration. A government, claiming violation of human rights in Iran, is denying human rights in four corners of the world; it has a dark record of torturing and killing innocent people."

He said that the arrest of Iranian diplomat in Baghdad Jalal Sharafi and his most severe and medieval tortures are other examples of the US disrespect for law.

He added that daily massacre of innocent Iraqi people and of the pilgrims to holy shrine of Imam Hossein come at a time when Iraq is practically run by the US and based on international regulations, Iraq's security rests with the country.

... Payvand News - 4/15/07 ... --

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