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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Asefi: Iran to present new nuclear initiative in 45 days

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Tehran, Aug 28, IRNA
Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi lauded the performance of outgoing foreign minister, Kamal Kharrazi, during his 8-year term, particularly his approach to the Iranian diplomats kidnapped in Lebanon and the Caspian Sea legal regime.

Speaking to reporters during the introduction ceremony of the new Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki on Saturday, he said that despite the close follow-up of the kidnapping, given that the illegitimate Israeli regime is involved in the case, the measures taken so far have been to no avail.

Asefi added that the issue is still high on the Foreign Ministry agenda and that the Lebanese Hezbollah has been called upon to follow up the case.

"Unfortunately, the Zionist regime has associated the fate of the kidnapped Iranian diplomats with that of the missing Israeli pilot, Ron Arad, while no one is aware of it.

"Besides Lebanon's Hezbollah has assured us that it will place special focus on the issue during the next phase of exchanging prisoners of war with the Zionist regime," he added.

Sympathizing with the kidnapped diplomats and their families, Asefi regretted that those responsible for the case are irrational and show no understanding.

In response to a question raised about the visit of some Iranian students to Lebanon to follow up the status of the kidnapped diplomats and whether the Foreign Ministry assists them, he said, "We shall welcome and support any step towards clarification of the case."
Concerning Kharrazi's approach towards the Caspian Sea legal regime, he said that considerable progress has been made in this respect.

"Iran has managed to establish its 20 percent sovereignty right and not let the states bordering the sea launch any operation," he added.

Turning to the Caspian Sea legal regime as a lengthy issue requiring the consensus of all the states bordering it, he said that it will remain high on the agenda of the Foreign Ministry until the desired result are obtained.

About the release of 1,000 prisoners from Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison, he said that according to the news, their fate was unknown and they were kept under the worst conditions.

"This is an obvious example of violation of human rights by the US and their mistreatment of prisoners. This proves that despite its claims, the US does not comply with international norms," he added.

In reaction to a question about the remarks of the deputy to the Arab League Secretary-General on UAE claim over Iran's triple Persian Gulf islands to be brought up at the next meeting of the league, he termed it as a futile discussion and recommended Iran's Arab allies to focus on the problems of the Muslim world.

"Given that the world of Islam and Arab countries are constantly under the threat of invasion by the Zionist regime in various ways, they would better get united against their common enemy and concerns.

"Concerning the southern islands of Lesser and Greater and Lesser Tunbs there is no doubt about Iran's proprietorship. Besides the minor misunderstanding about Abu Musa can be solved through negotiations between the two sides and intervention of a third country will not help settle the issue," he added.



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