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Iran to help US storm victims if necessary: Asefi

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Tehran, Sept 4, IRNA
Iran-Asefi
Iran will help US victims of Hurricane Katrina if there is a need to do so and regards such help as a humanitarian measure, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi said here Sunday.

Asefi made the remark as he was talking to domestic and foreign reporters at his weekly press briefing.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran will dispatch relief aid to the United States through Red Crescent if there is a need for such relief assistance.

"Apparently, relief aid has not been provided to the
victims properly. The victims complained about the way relief aid is provided to them.

"We will help if we are confident there is a need for our assistance," he said.

Asked about UN nuclear watchdog chief Mohamed ElBaradei's Saturday report on Iran's nuclear case and wether Iran would resume activities at Natanz in Isfahan province, he said, "Iran has cooperated within the framework of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

"Access to peaceful nuclear technology is our inalienable right and we will not forsake such a right. The Isfahan issue is irrevocable but we will adopt measures in connection with our.

In response to a question on Iran-India talks on a project to transfer Iran's gas to India via Pakistan, Asefi said, "As the foreign ministers of the two countries announced Saturday, there is a political will in this regard.

"A trilateral session will hopefully be held among the oil ministers of Iran, India and Pakistan in the near future to prepare ground for implementation of the project."
The spokesman assessed recent visit by Indian Foreign Minister Natwat Singh to Tehran as "very successful", saying, "During the Indian foreign minister's meetings with senior Iranian political officials, the two sides explored avenues for expansion and consolidation of bilateral relations."
He said Iran and India are two important countries in the region, adding, "The two states shoulder great responsibilities in the region and the world which can play a crucial role."
Asked about several visits made by Iranian and Indian officials and India's role in Iran's nuclear talks, Asefi said, "We use all potentials to make our nuclear activities more transparent.

"India is among the states we use for our nuclear negotiations and consultations.

"Ties with India are not limited to just nuclear issue. We have several topics for talks with India. India can be a serious and important colleague for Iran in the region."
In response to a question wether the gas transfer project would be regarded as a political incentive given to India to support Iran, Asefi said, "We are not supposed to grant incentive to India or other states. The project is an economic agreement which both sides will reap its benefits."
Asefi termed a meeting between Pakistani Foreign Minister Khursheed Mehmood Kasuri and his Israeli counterpart Silvan Shalom on Thursday as an unjustifiable act on the part of Pakistan.

"Such a measure has no justification and the Pakistanis should take into consideration current situation of the world and the Islamic world.

"The meeting aroused great sensitivities in Iran, Arab states and the Palestinian nation. We will notify the issue to Pakistan," he said.

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