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Iranians absent at Bicentennial Seminar on Iran-France Relations

Tehran, Dec 25, IRNA - Seminar on 200th Anniversary of Iran-France Relations was held in the absence of the Iranians on Friday, December 21st at French Senate Palace.

A reporter asked the IRI Foreign Ministry Spokesman Mohammad-Ali Hosseini during his weekly press conference here Monday why the Iranians did not attend the event.

Hosseini replied, "That seminar was going to be cosponsored by Tehran University, the French Senate, and the European Institute for Strategic Studies on Iran on the 20th and 21st of September.

He added, "In accordance with the reached agreements among the organizers, the issued to be discussed there were supposed to be entirely cultural and historical, but concerned officials at Tehran University were informed a couple of days before the opening of the seminar that the French side had unilaterally decided to include issues of the day, such as Iran-US talks, nuclear matter, and UNSC sanction resolution in it."

Hosseini said, "That was why Tehran University officials announced their presence would be of no use, due to the drastic turn in choice of topics, and decided not to attend."

A reporter asked about the payment, return, and details of a 1.5 billion dollar loan provided by Iran for reconstruction and expansion of an oil and a hydroelectric power plant in Sri Lanka, and another 450 million dollar loan to that country for an irrigation plan, both with 15 year return installments.

Hosseini said, "One of the priorities of the IRI Government is efforts aimed at transfer of our country's companies' technological and engineering capabilities abroad, and parallel with signing such Letters of Agreement, the monetary assets for them, too, need to be provided in accordance with the laws, and keeping in mind national interests and international standards."

He added, "The pilot studies on those projects have been conducted by concerned technicians and negotiations have been finalized with the Export Promotion Bank and the Iranian contractors. Now if some people assume that such loans are continuations on behalf of the Iranian nation, that is not exactly true."

Another reporter asked Hosseini's stand on former British prime minister Tony Blair's recent remarks in Jordan, where he has said that despite the Middle East leaders' good will expressed in Annapolis, the establishment of an Israeli and a Palestinian state side by side on ne another seems highly unlikely.

He replied, "Mr. Blair's remarks on being unrealistic of the establishment of a Jewish and a Palestinian state is in a way confirming righteous the Iranian stands on the matter, and meanwhile, proof for inefficiency of the US efforts in holding the futile Annapolis Peace Talks.

A reporter asked, "Keeping in mind the Turkish warplanes attacks against PKK barracks in Iraq and the Iraqi Government's summoning of the Turkish Ambassador in Baghdad, what is Iran's stand on the matter?"

Hosseini replied, "The Islamic Republic of Iran has always respected the national sovereignty of countries, but it is not right that some regions would be turned into safe havens for the activities of terrorists against neighboring countries."

The Foreign Ministry Spokesman added, "Regarding the emerged problems between our neighbors Iraq and Turkey, we suggest both sides to solve them through holding diplomatic talks."

... Payvand News - 12/25/07 ... --

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