Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

FM spokesman: There are no Iranian military experts in N Korea

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Tehran, Dec 11, IRNA -- Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast rejected rumors of presence of Iranian nuclear experts in North Korea.

During his Tuesday morning press briefing, he said that the claims by South Korean media about presence of Iran's military and missile experts in North Korea were untrue.

He explained that Iran establishd its relations with North Korea in all areas after the victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1979 and had military cooperation with Pyongyang during the Iraqi-imposed war but after that the two countries have kept ties in political, economic and humanitarian areas.

He said the claims about Iran's cooperation with North Korea in military and nuclear fields are just baseless propaganda campaign launched with an aim of influencing Iran's ties with regional countries.

About situation in Syria, he stressed the right of the Syrian nation to decide its future and said no country has the right to make decisions for the Syrian nation.

Answering a question whether Tehran is ready to accept any plan for post-Assad era in Syria, he said the Syrian nation plays the most pivotal role in deciding the future of the country and thus Iran thinks the best thing it can do is to prepare the ground for their participation in a free election in order to give them the chance to have their demands materialized.

For democracy to prevail in Syria, the spokesman added, violence has to stop there and dispatch of arms to terrorist groups comes to an end.

Saying that certain western countries are against establishment of peace in Syria or holding of elections there, he wondered why western countries are nervous about Syrians' right to decide their own future in a proper manner.

He said Iran regarded attempts to choose and install a leader for Syria from outside the country as a vivid violation of international laws and norms, adding that the only acceptabe criteria for Tehran is the will of the Syrian nation which would arise from a democratic process.

As for the remarks of the Iranian foreign minister about Tehran's readiness for talks with the US on specific issues, he said the remarks were quite clear and Iran could hold talks with the US on such issues as Afghanistan and Iraq.

Mehmanparast further commented on the destiny of 48 Iranian pilgrims abducted in Syria and said Iran was following up the case via its embassy in Damascus in cooperation with Syrian army.

In response to a question about claims on Iran's interference in Yemen, the spokesman they refuted such claims as false and untrue.

He said Iran expected such claims to vanish after recent changes in the Yemeni government because the religious scholars and people of Yemen would never let any foreign country meddle in their domestic affairs.

1424**1412
Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 1033777



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