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Iran ready to continue nuclear talks within 3 weeks: FM

Tehran, July 2, IRNA - Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki has said that Tehran is ready to continue its nuclear talks within the next three weeks, it was reported on Monday.

Speaking in a televised interview with the Arab-language news channel Al-Jazeera broadcast Sunday evening, the minister said the best way out of the nuclear standoff was to "return Iran nuclear case from the United Nations Security Council to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)."

Mottaki told the Qatar-based satellite channel, "The (nuclear) talks should be supported by all sides."

He noted that the talks should focus on two major axes: Iran's commitment to its peaceful nuclear activities and its not opting for nuclear weapons, and recognizing Iran's right to acquire peaceful nuclear technology.

"Taking into consideration these two principles will help continue nuclear talks," Mottaki stressed.

As for the reaction of the Iranian people after imposition of economic sanctions against the country for its peaceful nuclear program, Mottaki said, "Iran's nuclear program is completely supported by all Iranians both inside and outside the country." Mottaki added that all Iranians surely "favor a peaceful solution to the nuclear case but they would stand against anyone who intends to create any problem for the country."

"The history of Iran has shown that Iranians stay united when it comes to defending their country," Mottaki stressed.

Iran supports formation of Palestinian state

Iran supports establishment of a Palestinian state with the Holy Qods as its capital, Mottaki said.

Mottaki stressed that Tehran, like other Islamic states, has supported rights of the Palestinian nation in forming an independent state.

Iran has also supported the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homeland.

Referring to the ongoing struggle among different Palestinian groups, supporters of the Hamas and Fatah in particular, Mottaki told the Qatar-based tv network, that the existing situation would not benefit any of Palestinian parties.

He stressed, "Tehran backs the Mecca agreement and supports establishment of a national unity government in Palestine." Leaders of the Hamas and Fatah groups had singed a peace deal in the Holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, in February to end a period of internecine clashes between the two major Palestinian groups.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas last week sacked the unity government led by Hamas after the latter seized control of the Gaza Strip in fighting with Fatah movement.

The ongoing crisis in Palestine should be solved through "serious, productive and without any precondition negotiations among various Palestinian groups, Hams and Fatah in particular," Mottaki said.

Noting that Palestinian groups should not waste their weapons by using them against each other, the minister stressed they should strive to restore their legitimate rights and for this cause close their ranks and unite.

Iran seeks cordial ties with regional states

Iran has always favored establishing cordial relations with all regional states, Mottaki said in the interview.

As to Tehran's relations with Arab countries in the region, the minister said the exiting ties between Iran and the regional Arab states were based on the two sides' joint history.

"Iran believes that the power and strength of Islamic states are equal to its own power and progress," Mottaki stressed.

Voicing Iran's readiness to share its all-out experiences with regional states, he said Tehran believes this would benefit all regional nations and governments.

Mottaki urged the regional states to remain vigilant against enemies plots aimed at disturbing cordial relations between Iran and the regional states.

"Enemies of Iran and the regional countries have always been trying to sow discord among them," he told the Qatar-based tv network stressing that any dispute could be settled through negotiations.

... Payvand News - 7/2/07 ... --

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