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West creates tension in Mideast - Khatami

New Delhi, March 25, IRNA - Former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami said in New Delhi on Saturday that Iran exports oil to the West while Westerners export tension to the region.

Addressing a large group of Indian thinkers and intellectuals, he said the West is in dire need of the vast Persian Gulf natural resources including oil and gas.

Voicing his opposition to presence of foreign forces anywhere in the world, he urged alien troops to withdraw from the Middle East region.

As to the presence of US forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, Khatami stressed that foreign forces create tension in the Mideast region.

Khatami, who is also head of the International Center for Dialogue among Cultures and Civilizations, further commented on Iran's peaceful nuclear program stressing that the Islamic Republic of Iran has never been interested in pursuance of nuclear weapons.

The Iranian nation will never withdraw from its legitimate right of pursuing nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, he reiterated.

Khatami added that Iran, as a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), is ready to hold negotiations without any pre-conditions.

Referring to Iran-India relations as historic, he voiced Iran's readiness to further promote all-out ties with both India and Pakistan.

Tehran has always been interested in settlement of the existing tension between India and Pakistan and has made great efforts to that end, Khatami concluded.

... Payvand News - 3/26/07 ... --

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