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Peaceful use of nuclear energy, Iran's right: FM

Rome, March 16, IRNA - Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said on Friday that Tehran does not intend to have a conflict with the UN but has the right to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. Mottaki made the statement while speaking to Italian daily `La Repubblica' on Iran's peaceful nuclear activities.

"Uranium enrichment and its possible suspension are very important for Iran. We are ready to take new steps forward but will not give up the Iranian nation's fundamental right.

"This is the only cost we cannot pay," he said.

He added, "President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may attend the UN to outline Iran's nuclear stance and prevent adoption of another resolution under political pressure to cause a new injustice.

"We discuss about two parallel steps of Iran's suspension of uranium enrichment and prevention of adoption of a new resolution by the UN Security Council.

"But our step is more important to be balanced with a simple stop of an imposed political decision introduced to the UN by certain powers," Mottaki added.

Pointing to a security meeting held in Baghdad on March 10, the Iranian minister said the meeting caused a positive atmosphere.

"We are happy with a meeting of Iraq neighbors and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (China, Russia, Britain, France and the US) because the Iraqi government achieved its first goal.

"All participants of Baghdad meeting have a common stance that is: Stability of Iraq has a direct impact on the entire region...The meeting gives hope to us that next meetings will also be fruitful," he stated.

Mottaki said, "We believe that next meetings even at a ministerial level should also be held in Baghdad to give a clear sign to terrorists who inflict damage on Iraq.

"To us, even member states of G8, representatives of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) should also take part at the meetings."

Asked whether Iran would help the US restore stability in Iraq, he said, "Iran is fully ready to help the Iraqi government and nation. We are determined to reinforce stability in Iraq and the entire region." 2327/1414

Oil Minister: With sanctions imposed over past 25 years, Iran not worried over possible new ones
Vienna, March 15, IRNA - Oil Minister Kazem Vaziri-Hamaneh said on Thursday that Iran is not threatened by possible new sanctions, adding that it has been under an economic embargo in the past 25 years.

He made the remarks while speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the two-day OPEC session (March 14-15) in the Austrian capital Vienna.

In response to a question about the likely impact of sanctions on Iran's develpment plans, he said: "By providing incentives for domestic and foreign investment to various countries we have increased our capacity in various domains, including in the petrochemical and oil industries.

"We do have some plans for oil refinement which we will pursue seriously." The minister said that Iran's general policy is based on extensive exchanges with the world countries, one of which is to supply reliable energy, adding that no change has taken place in this policy.

Whether sanctions will leave its negative impact on oil industry and the relevant projects, he told IRNA reporter, "We do not know what kind of sanction will be raised against us. Besides, we have not violated any law to expect an extensive sanction on behalf of the United Nations.

"Given the sanctions against our country over the past 25 years and the development projects implemented in the country, the procedure will continue."

Vaziri-Hamaneh left Tehran for Vienna on Monday night at the head of a delegation to attend 144th session of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) held at the Vienna-based headquarters of the OPEC Secretariat.

Majlis speaker: Imposition of sanctions on Iran in line with US' `Greater Middle East' plan
Tehran, March 15, IRNA - Increasing threats of more sanctions to be imposed on Iran for its peaceful nuclear activities are being made in line with US plans for a `Greater Middle East' and to impede the advance of the world of Islam, Majlis Speaker Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel said on Thursday.

Speaking at a meeting with the visiting Prime Minister of Syria Muhammad Naji al-Utri, the speaker called for strengthening of Tehran-Damascus strategic and cordial relations "particularly at this critical juncture in developments in the Islamic world and Middle East."

The speaker stressed that promotion of ties with Muslim nations, defense of rights of the oppressed Palestinian nation and confrontation of bullying powers were basic principles of Iranian foreign policy.

Referring to US plots to sow discord among Muslim nations, Haddad-Adel regretted that "the Americans who entered the region on the pretext of bringing democracy and freedom are now sowing discord among Shia and Sunni Muslims."

The speaker said that Iran and Syria, as influential nations in the region, should be vigilant and strive to thwart the "satanic" plots of the US.

He stressed that cordial and strong relations among regional countries, Iran, Syria, Iraq and Lebanon in particular, can serve as a chain that can effectively imprison enemies and prevent them from realizing their plots.

The Syrian premier, who arrived in Iran Wednesday, praised current the trend of increasing Tehran-Damascus strategic ties, and noted that there was a joint determination to further strengthen ties.

Al-Utri said that a struggle was now taking place in the region "between the forces of power and those of logic."

"Hegemonic powers are trying to impose their will on Muslim nations but these nations will demonstrate that negotiation is the only way to achieve peace and stability in the region," stressed the Syrian official.

He added that Iran and Syria can use their strategic ties to confront challenges and pressures made to bear on Muslim nations.

... Payvand News - 3/16/07 ... --

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