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US needs to give appropriate response to Iran's initiatives: FM

TEHRAN, Feb. 17 (ISNA)-The ball is in the US court and it needs to give an appropriate response to Iran's initiatives and positions over the US presidential elections, Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said in an interview with RIA-Novosti.

Q: The EU is trying to diversify channels for delivering energy resources from Caspian Sea and Central Asia such as the case with Nabucco natural gas pipeline project. Does Iran regard cooperation in the plan beneficial for itself?

A: Iran with the second biggest gas reserves of the world is ready to work for providing needs of countries demanding energy sources. It is ready to discuss suggestions for energy cooperation with all countries including the EU, but Tehran is opposed to politicizing energy issues which "we believe will be harmful for consuming countries."

Iran holds an excellent position for energy export and transit to the West, but it is against with the establishment of any gas and oil pipeline throughout the Caspian Sea due to technical and environmental issues and believes there is no reason to put the plan into practice since any gas or oil pipeline from east to west of the sea can be established through Iran.

Q: Is there any possibility to an agreement on legal status of the Caspian Sea?

A: Caspian Sea Littoral States are holding high-level talks on legal regime of the sea, the states' presidents made agreements last year and negotiations will be continued in Azerbaijani capital of Baku. The members are expected to make more agreements on security issues of the sea.

Q: Does Iran seek full membership in Shanghai Cooperation Organization?

A: Iran is after full membership in the organization and has made an official request; it hopes that the goal will be achieved during Russian presidency of the organization.

Q: Is there the possibility of an improvement in Tehran-Washington relations after the US President Barack Obama's win in elections?

A: Current bilateral ties are rooted in the US inappropriate behaviors on Iran during the former neoconservative President George W Bush' term in office. The US behaviors have created the current ground.

If Obama's administration which took office through the motto of "change" wants to make a change in bilateral relations, Iran will estimate its behaviors according to its national interests and give an appropriate response.

Iran's initiatives and positions on the US presidential elections have put the ball in the US court, so it needs to give a good response to Iran.

Iran is aware that pro-Israeli groups and opponents of the country inside and outside of America are trying to influence the US new administration's view on Iran, but the administration needs to decide how to arrange its treatments with Iran for a respectful interaction.

Q: Do you think there are political issues behind completion of Bushehr nuclear power plant?

A: Delays in building and running the plant was caused due to technical and political issues; no doubt "our friends in Russia share the same view with us."

Some Western powers tried to bring Iran-Russia nuclear cooperation into question, although the power plant was under the IAEA supervision when being built. These moves aimed at competing with Russia for Iran's nuclear market.

Technically speaking differences in nuclear industry of Russia and Germany made delays in the completion of the project. Iran first inked Bushehr plant contract with Germany, but it declined to complete the project due to the US pressures.

Q: Under what circumstances Iran can give up continuing uranium enrichment program?

A: The West's role in making delay in providing nuclear fuel for Iran confirms that Iran has taken a correct position to continue uranium enrichment and it reveals lack of any guarantee for supplying nuclear fuel for Iran and the unreliability of the West.

... Payvand News - 02/17/09 ... --

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