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Iran determined to pursue case of chemical weapons criminals: deputy FM

TEHRAN, June 26 (Mehr News Agency) -- Iran will take its case to domestic and international courts to convict those involved in chemical attacks on the country, Deputy Foreign Minister Mehdi Mostafavi said in Tehran on Tuesday.

The chemical weapons issue is one of the most terrible occurrences in history, Mostafavi said at a ceremony held to unveil a new stamp commemorating the 10th anniversary of the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention.

The Chemical Weapons Convention, which entered into force on April 29, 1997, is an arms control agreement which outlaws the production, stockpiling, and use of chemical weapons.

Iranians injured by chemical weapons during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war are still suffering from physical and psychological trauma, and the Iranian nation will never forget those crimes, he added.

The hegemonic powers are trying to hinder the implementation of the CWC, but CWC signatories and the United Nations are trying to attain the goals of the convention, he said.

Asked about U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's recent comments about the Solana-Larijani nuclear talks, Mostafavi told reporters that Iran would stick to its original stance, adding, "And we believe that there is no reason to suspend uranium enrichment."

Iran has taken paths that help build trust among all the negotiating partners and is still pursuing those paths, he said.

European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana held nuclear talks with Iranian Supreme National Security Council Secretary Ali Larijani in Lisbon on Saturday.

Afterwards, Solana said the discussions were constructive and expressed hope that another round of talks could be held in three weeks.

However, on Sunday Rice maintained a firm line against efforts to soften conditions for Iran to enter talks over its disputed nuclear program, dismissing as "chatter" discussions among U.S. allies about a new approach.

According to AP, she said that in her discussions with other diplomats she has sensed no willingness to back off conditions that Iran's European and United Nations negotiating partners had set to begin formal talks.

... Payvand News - 6/27/07 ... --

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