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Iran not to forgo its Caspian Sea share: FM Spokesman

Tehran, Dec 31, IRNA - Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad-Ali Hosseini said in Tehran on Monday that according to the "principle of justice", Iran's share of the Caspian Sea resources will be around 20 percent.

Talking to reporters, he added, "Tehran has always made efforts to reach the quota and will not forgo its right."

"The Caspian Sea legal regime will be determined on the basis of principle of justice which has its own technical definition in international laws," he added.

Referring to Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki's remarks yesterday that Iran's share of the Caspian Sea had never exceeded 11.3 percent in the past, Hosseini said during the Soviet rule, efforts were made to impose a quota on Iran by the Russians but this never happened.

"However," he added, "The figure has not been mentioned in any accord and Iran has never accepted the issue."

Following the victory of the 1979 Islamic Revolution and collapse of the Soviet Union, the Caspian Sea littoral states set forth division of boundaries, he said adding, "The Islamic Republic of Iran instantly announced that it would accept the division only if it was based on justice."

Hosseini reiterated that all consultations and meetings take place on that basis.

Iran to discuss Arvand river dredging with Iraqi delegation

Iran will discuss the issue of dredging the Arvand Rud river within the framework of the Algiers Accord with an Iraqi delegation due to visit Iran within coming days, Foreign Ministry spokesman, Hosseini said on Monday.

He added that no date has been mentioned yet for the visit of the Iraqi delegation." Referring to the establishment of a joint technical committee by Iran and Iraq, the spokesman stressed that the upcoming talks between the Iranian and Iraqi officials would be held at the committee within the framework of the Algiers Accord.

The accord was signed by Iran and Iraq in 1975 in the Algerian capital to settle territorial disputes between the two neighboring states.

"Iran has introduced members of the committee and the Iraqi side is expected to introduce its members," Hosseini added.

Persian Gulf will remain Persian Gulf for ever

The Persian Gulf will remain Persian Gulf for ever, stressed Foreign Ministry spokesman, Mohammad-Ali Hosseini, on Monday commenting on a proposal for changing the Persian Gulf's name.

According to media reports, Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Saeed Jalili recently proposed that the term 'Gulf of Friendship' be used to refer to the Persian Gulf.

"Dr Jalili meant that the Persian Gulf can be a place for friendship and tranquility of regional states," Hosseini stated at his weekly press conference.

Iran-US talks to be held at ambassador level

Hosseini said the next round of Iran-US talks on Iraq would be held "at ambassador level at the most."

He added, "We announced our views to the Iraqi side. Iran agrees with the principle of holding talks and the Iran-US talks would not be held higher than ambassadorial level."

Hosseini stressed that the date of the talks "would be fixed during consultations."

Iran and US have so far held three rounds of talks about Iraq's security situation.

The talks were respectively held on May 28, July 24 and August 6 with the participation of Iran's Ambassador to Iraq Hassan Kazemi Qomi, his US counterpart Ryan Crocker and representatives of the Iraqi government.

Tehran-Moscow economic ties growing: FM

Tehran, Dec 30, IRNA - Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said here Sunday that Iran-Russia bilateral economic cooperation has witnessed appropriate growth.

Talking to reporters on the sidelines of a ceremony to mark Eid ul-Ghadir, Mottaki said he was confident that Tehran-Moscow economic relations would be further strengthened in the next few years.

Referring to a 100-percent growth in bilateral trade exchanges between the two states in 2007 as compared to those in 2006, he said the prospect of bilateral economic cooperation is very bright.

Tehran and Moscow enjoy amicable ties in all areas including military field, the Iranian foreign minister noted.

"Tehran sees no obstacle in the way of its cooperation with Moscow," he added.

... Payvand News - 12/31/07 ... --

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