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Iranian FM: Larijani-Solana talks prepared grounds for materializing goals

Madrid, March 1, IRNA - Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki in a meeting with his Spanish counterpart, Miguel Angel Moratinos on Thursday said that the talks between Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani and EU Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana have prepared the proper ground for materializing the real goals of both sides.

Mottaki urged the need to increase the negotiators involved in Iran's nuclear issue, adding that participation of influential countries and significant regional and global bodies in these talks can create fair conditions and more realistic atmosphere.

Meanwhile, the minister briefed Moratinos on Iran's stance on the latest developments in the Middle East, including the crises in Lebanon and Iraq.

"Continuous talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia aiming to help the factions involved in Lebanon's domestic conflicts and materialize peace and stability in the country are currently underway," he added.

Turning to the conference of Iraq's neighboring countries in the near future, he said that foreign minsters of Iran, Iraq and Syria are scheduled to hold talks at the upcoming meeting to be attended by the regional countries in response to the Iraqi government's call for promotion of security and stability in the country.

"Spain's realistic approach to the Middle East developments can be effective in solving the regional crises," he added.

At the meeting, the two foreign ministers also discussed Afghanistan, Palestine and other issues of mutual interest.

Besides, they urged the need to continue exchange of views on various regional and international matters.

The Iranian foreign minister arrived in the Spanish capital, Madrid, Thursday to attend the first international conference of average income countries (March 1-2).

The two-day event is attended by the heads of international and regional bodies, ministers and high-ranking delegations from 80 countries.

Iran, China stress peaceful use of nuclear energy

Beijing, March 1, IRNA - Iran and China here Thursday stressed the importance of producing nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

The visiting Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Abbas Araqchi, who is currently in Beijing for an official two-day visit, met with Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Li Zhaoxing.

Araqchi and Li said that diplomatic negotiations would be the best way to solve the standoff over Iran's nuclear program.

The Iranian deputy foreign minister held talks with Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister for Asia, International Organizations and Conferences and Arms Control Cui Tiankai earlier Thursday.

Speaking to IRNA on the sidelines of the meeting, Araqchi said China has always supported settlement of the dispute over Iran's nuclear case in a peaceful way.

He added that Chinese officials believe that resumption of negotiations would be the best option for resolving differences over Iran's nuclear case.

Pointing to the US mounting pressure on Iran and suggestions of the possible use of force to resolve Iran's nuclear case, the Iranian diplomat said the US is in the habit of giving incorrect information to other countries.

"Iran's diplomacy is duty-bound to provide countries with correct information and outline its transparent stance.

"The US intensifies its pressure on Iran in such a way that several countries unanimously believe that just negotiations will settle disputes over Iran's nuclear case."

He said that with regard to the nuclear issue there were two viewpoints -- confrontation or increasing pressure and continuation of talks.

"The first viewpoint belongs to the US but fortunately several countries adopt wise stances and believe that the issue can be settled through talks."

Araqchi stressed that "China and Russia, as two permanent members of the UN Security Council, believe that the military option or resort to force would not be effective in resolving the Iran nuclear issuee."

He expressed hope the wise stances of other countries would dominate over the US viewpoint.

The Iranian official said Iranian nation has an inevitable right to use nuclear energy for peaceful aims, adding, "Iranians are serious to obtain their nuclear rights.

"We have no doubt over our peaceful nuclear activities even one iota." He added that any ambiguity could be removed through honest talks.

Referring to the UN Security Council Resolution 1737 against Iran, he said, "The resolution raised illegal and illogical demands.

It has passed an incorrect path following the US pressure which should be amended."

French FM calls for all-out expansion of ties with Iran

Paris, March 1, IRNA - French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy here on Wednesday called for all-out expansion of ties with the Islamic Republic of Iran, it was announced Thursday.

Speaking to a group of Iranian reporters in Paris, he said: "We would like the Iranians to enjoy a comfortable life as members of the international community."

On Iran's peaceful nuclear activities, he said France "recognizes Iran's legal right to avail of the benefits of peaceful nuclear energy within NPT rules and regulations" and expressed regret over obstacles placed in its way.

France is fully determined to broaden current ties with Iran, he underlined.

He said Iran and France have deep-rooted and historical ties dating back to the Middle Ages.

French companies have participated significantly in Iranian development projects throughout the country and their participation can be further boosted, he underlined.

On the nuclear standoff over Iran's nuclear program, he said the international community cannot prevent Iran from exercising its legitimate right as a signatory to the NPT.

Since the Islamic Republic of Iran is a signatory to the NPT, it has the legitimate right to pursue nuclear energy for non-military purposes, he said, adding that the treaty expressly authorizes peaceful access to nuclear technology for all state-signatories.

The French foreign minister believes the nuclear standoff should be resolved through political negotiations.

"I should underscore that the door to negotiations is still open," he said.

"The key to negotiations is now with Tehran," he added.

He said France rules out any possible Iranian intention to use its nuclear program for military purposes, adding that he believes peaceful talks can settle the dispute.

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

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