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Iran will consider opening US interest section, direct flights


New York, July 2, IRNA - Iran may consider suggestion of US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on opening US interest section in Tehran, Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said.

Iranian interest section is operating in Washington and Iran had put forward a proposal to resume direct flights between Tehran and New York for facilitating visit to Iran of the Iranian nationals living in the United States.

"Contacts between Iranians and the American people will be a useful step for better understanding of the two nations," Iranian FM told reporters in New York.

The foreign minister who is currently in New York to attend a meeting of Economic and Social Council of the United Nations on June 30-July 3 added that Iran advocates academic and sports exchanges between the two countries.

"Iranian academics and students have invited their American counterparts to the country to share their research and scientific achievements."

By visiting Iran, the American people can acquire the truth about Iran, Mottaki added.

Iran-US talks on Iraq aimed to settle crisis: FM

Mottaki said Iran-US talks on Iraq was aimed at settlement of Iraqi security crisis. "Tehran believes that Iran-US talks on Iraq was not taken seriously by Washington," he added.

As to the US allegations against Iran, he condemned the double-standard policy adopted by Washington in the region.

The US expansionist and extremist policies have damaged the Islamic Republic in the past few years, he said, criticizing the US approach towards Iraq and Afghanistan.

On US wrong policies in Afghanistan, Mottaki said, "The Afghan nationals believe that their situation has worsened compared to the previous years."

The foreign forces are in charge of combat against smuggle of narcotic drugs in Afghanistan while the current production of illicit drugs has increased by 30 times in that war-torn country, the Iranian foreign minister said asking who will be responsive to such issues.

He added that security and stability in Afghanistan would benefit the entire region, particularly Iran.

Mottaki condemns US psychological war against Iran

Iranian FM said the US threats against Iran are in line with the rotten policy of the psychological war against Tehran exercised by the White House in the past two years.

He said Washington has repeatedly talked about its probable attacks against the Iranian nation in the past few years, adding that the US public opinion does not seem to accept such an action.

The US has been meddling in Iran's domestic affairs in the past three decades, he said, adding that espionage, support for domestic unrest, extensive support for the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein during the US-backed imposed war on Iran, support for terrorist groups and imposing sanctions on the country are among various measures taken by Washington.

Asked about effects of sanctions on Iranian trade, he said the country's economic priorities have attracted many international companies, including several American companies.

Iran faces no problem with its economic and trade activities, he said, adding that the country has recently made several major agreements in the energy sector with many European and Asian countries. Iran's non-oil exports were doubled in 2007 compared to the preceding year, he added.

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