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FM: Iran ready to allow states, private companies acquire stakes in Iran's N-fields

Tehran, Feb 27, IRNA - Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said in Tehran Tuesday that Iran, in efforts to build the international community's confidence in its nuclear program, was was even ready to give governments of other states or their private companies ownership of its nuclear fields.

Mottaki's remarks were part of his address to the first day-long international conference on Latin America which opened here Tuesday.

Pointing to Monday's meeting of the 5+1 Group (Britain, France, US, China, Russia plus Germany) in London, he stressed that "Iran's peaceful nuclear activities are very transparent."

"Iran has presented proposals to remove concerns (of the international community). Such offers have never been raised by any other nuclear fuel producer in the world," he said.

He reiterated an earlier Iranian proposal calling on states and/or their private sector companies to participate in Iran's nuclear activities and to acquire stakes in its power plants.

Iran believes in mutual confidence building, the minister said, adding that there should be no room for concern as "Iran's nuclear activities are carried out under supervision of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors and in full view of its cameras.

"IAEA inspectors can travel to Iran whenever they request. There is no problem in this regard."

Mottaki said "Tehran has responded to several questions raised by the IAEA and is ready to answer more."

He said the move to send Iran's nuclear dossier to the UN Security Council was "politically motivated and illegal," arguing that IAEA Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei, based on inspections carried out by its inspectors, has never reported any diversion in Iran's nuclear activities from their stated peaceful purposes.

Mottaki reiterated Iran's readiness to hold talks on the country's nuclear activities without pre-conditions and give guarantees of their peaceful purpose as well as the country's commitment to non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.

"Everyone has confirmed that commitment to the safeguards regime is more important than refusal to suspend uranium enrichment. Iran is ready to hold talks in this regard."

He moreover said that possession of advanced technologies have led certain countries to monopolize enrichment to the detriment of other coutries who desire to conduct similar activities for peaceful purposes.

Iran does not seek nuclear weapons, he reiterated, adding that there is no basis for comparison of Iran's peaceful nuclear program with those of countries which have conducted nuclear tests.

The Iranian minister said the West has not been faithful to its undertakings under the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), one of which is to provide countries, including Iran, which have the desire to develop nuclear energy, with the needed technology. "This has been a sore point in all agreements signed by Iran with the West in the past 200 years."

He said that "whenever it was Iranian interests that was at stake, the West found it all too easy to renege on its commitments." On the other hand, he assured that "Iran's cooperation with Latin American states will not be against any country but will be in line with the interests of the two nations."

"Iran and Latin American states have common stances and views on several issues. We have a common goal of promoting just relations in the international arena."

Referring to developments in Latin America, he said that "it was of great significance that in Latin America, as in other parts of the world, a candidate who insists on his country's independence and opposition to US hegemony enjoys great popularity."

Such developments lead to destruction of the unipolar system in global affairs, he said.

The day-long international conference on Latin America began in Tehran Tuesday with a message from President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Articles written by experts from Venezuela, Brazil, Cuba, Colombia, Argentina, Uruguay, Ecuador, Italy, Russia and China are to be taken up in today's conference.

Larijani: Prodi had proposal for Iran's nuclear dispute

Tehran, Feb 27, IRNA - Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Larijani said here Tuesday that the Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi had a proposal for Iran's nuclear dispute.

Speaking to domestic and foreign media, he said that Prodi's proposed idea was primary and that it should be developed.

Upon insistence of reporters about the proposal of Italian prime minister, he said that given it has not been revealed, they should wait and see.

After Prodi was denied a vote of confidence by Italian senators on his foreign policy, he resigned on February 24.

However, his resignation was rejected by President Giorgio Napolitano and he was once more assigned to establish a cabinet.

His resignation was submitted an hour after meeting Larijani in Rome.

Meanwhile, Larijani said that during his recent meeting with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Mohamed ElBaradei, he raised three principles as a way to constructive movement.

Iran's top negotiator assessed the IAEA chief's initiative as positive.

Responding to a question whether Iran is prepared to give concession to the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany (Group 5+1) on the nuclear issue, he said, "We call for a rational solution to the issue.

Larijani said that giving or getting concessions is not the point to be discussed at present, but that the prospect of talks should first be specified.

China urges diplomatic solution to Iran's nuclear case

Beijing, Feb 27, IRNA - Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said on Tuesday that every UN resolution should be effective to settle disputes over Iran's nuclear case in a diplomatic and peaceful way.

Speaking to reporters at his weekly press conference, Qin added his country believes that imposing sanctions against Iran would not be a final solution to its nuclear case.

China has a definite and very transparent stance on Iran's nuclear issue, he said, adding Beijing has always stressed peaceful settlement of the case.

Referring to a meeting of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council -- Russia, China, Britain, France and the US -- plus Germany (Group 5+1), held in London on Monday, he added that China's ambassador to Britain attended the session on behalf of the Chinese government.

... Payvand News - 2/27/07 ... --

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