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Iran to participate in Iraq security conference: Larijani

TEHRAN, Feb. 28 (Mehr News Agency) - Iran will take part in a Baghdad security conference if it is in Iraq's interest, Supreme National Security Council Secretary Ali Larijani said in Tehran on Wednesday.

"We will do what we can do to resolve Iraq's problems," Iran's top nuclear negotiator told reporters at a press conference after meeting Iraqi MP Abd-al-Karim al-Anzi, who previously held the post of minister of state for national security affairs.

Ali Larijani

Asked about the fact that the United States will participate in the conference gathering Iraq's neighbors and several major powers, Larijani said, "We believe regional countries can solve the Iraq problem and there is no need for the presence of extra-regional countries. "However, it is Iraqi officials who decide on this."

According to AFP, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Tuesday that the United States will attend a ministerial level meeting of Iraq's neighbors, including Iran and Syria, as well as other world powers to discuss Iraq's future.

The meeting, expected in early April, will follow a lower level conference announced by Baghdad Tuesday of Iraq's neighbors plus the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, she added.

Iraqi officials said the first gathering, to be held in Baghdad in March, would focus on ending sectarian violence.

That meeting would involve ambassadors and other envoys from Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Turkey as well as Egypt, Bahrain, the Arab League, and the Organization of the Islamic Conference plus the five UN Security Council powers -- Britain, China, France, Russia, and the United States.

Al-Anzi said Iran has always played a constructive role in efforts to establish security in Iraq.

Baghdad is determined to boost its constructive relations with Tehran and "no evidence of Iranian interference in Iraq's internal affairs has been presented," he added.

The two countries are cooperating closely to promote security in Iraq and the region, al-Anzi emphasized.

West presents new nuclear proposals

Larijani also said that Western countries have presented new proposals on Iran's nuclear standoff to Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki.

In a report issued on Thursday, International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Mohamed ElBaradei concluded that Iran had not suspended its nuclear fuel enrichment as the UN Security Council had demanded.

Diplomats from the 5+1 group, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany, pledged in London on Monday to work on a new Security Council resolution over Iran's refusal to suspend uranium enrichment work.

Asked whether Tehran would soon begin feeding hexafluoride (UF6) gas to 3000 centrifuges at the Natanz enrichment plant as announced in ElBaradei's report, Larijani said, "The technical program is continuing according to the schedule and we have not made a new decision."

The Security Council passed Resolution 1737 on December 23 imposing sanctions on Iran's trade in nuclear material and technology. The resolution demanded the Islamic Republic stop uranium enrichment within a 60-day period, which ended on February 21, or face the prospect of additional sanctions.

There is a possibility that the major powers will adopt a new resolution against Iran, Larijani said.

... Payvand News - 3/1/07 ... --

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