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Iran supports negotiated settlement of nuclear issue

Vienna, Feb. 20, IRNA - Top nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani Tuesday stressed on negotiations as the only way to settle the issue of Iran's peaceful nuclear programme.

"The issue can't be settled through pressure and negotiations is the only way," he told reporters following his two-hour talks with Director General of the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Mohammed ElBaradei.

"Those who took Iran's case to the UNSC committed a mistake. The IAEA is the professional body to deal with nuclear issues and Iran's referral has damaged this professional body."

Larijani arrived in Vienna on Tuesday for talks with ElBaradei and European officials.

"We had useful talks discussing how the neogtiations can be resumed. We both believed that referring Iran's case to the UNSC was uncalled for and a negotiated settlement can be found within the IAEA."

"We decided to continue joint efforts," Larijani said.

Earlier he conferred with Belgian Foreign Minister Karl de Gucht, who is the head of UN Security Council's Sanctions Committee.

Following the talks with the UN nuclear watchdog chief, the Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) also stressed that Tehran's nuclear programme is peaceful in nature.

"We are not after nuclear arms and want to work within the NPT, but there was a (Security Council) resolution," Larijani added.

"However, there are those who have not joined the NPT and have military activities, but there has been no resolution against them." "This double standard behaviour will be a serious blow to the international institutions and result in many countries defining their way differently," he added.

To a question about suspension of enrichment activities in Iran, the SNSC secretary commented that it was a "political decision" and had nothing to do with the professional authority of the IAEA.

"Nowhere through the NPT, one can find a topic on suspension. Rather, it talks about monitoring and inspections."

The IAEA inspectors, he said, are carrying out their monitoring activities in Iran and "we have no problem in this regard".

Also briefing the reporters about his talks with the European officials in Munich, Larijani said that various parties favour resumption of negotiations which Iran also regards as a "positive movement".

Larijani, Belgian FM discuss facilitation of talks with Solana

Larijani and Belgian Foreign Minister Karel de Gucht on Tuesday talked about facilitating Iran's talks with EU Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana.

An informed source told IRNA that Gucht, who is visiting Vienna to confer with Larijani, met the Iranian official at the residence of Iran's ambassador in the city.

The source said Larijani and de Gucht also discussed Iran-Belgium ties, latest developments in Iran's nuclear case and international issues.

... Payvand News - 2/21/07 ... --

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