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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Asefi: Azeri radars at its common borders with Iran examined

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Tehran, Oct 9, IRNA
Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi on Sunday referred to Azerbaijan's cooperation with US and installation of radars at its common borders with Iran and said that the issue was discussed in Baku during the recent visit of Iran's special envoy to the Caspian Sea.

He added that according to the Azeri officials, the radars aim to counteract smuggling and illegal trafficking and that the move is not targeted against Iran.

Speaking to reporters at his weekly briefing, Asefi reiterated that given the explanations of Azeri officials, there is no cause for concern.

Javier Solana's lay-off from the European nuclear negotiation team involved in Iran's nuclear issue was another question raised by the media, to which he replied that the relevant news has been disseminated by an individual closely associated with the nuclear talks and that it has not yet been confirmed.

Asked whether Iran will continue its political and economic cooperation with India, in particular on the gas pipeline project, after India voted in favor of the UN nuclear watchdog Board of Governors resolution against Iran, Asefi expressed Iran's
dissatisfaction with India's vote and said that the issue has been mutually discussed at various points.

Turning to amicable bilateral ties, he noted that the vote will after all leave its impact upon the mutual bonds and that it will render the psychological atmosphere dominating the relations unfavorable.

He urged that it would be necessary to hold talks with Indian officials about the issue so that the measure would somehow be compensated. We do not intend to spoil everything for the sake of such an incorrect move.

In response to a question on Russia's reluctance to mediate in Iran-EU nuclear talks according to a statement issued by the Russian Foreign Ministry, Asefi said that the nuclear negotiations are such that there is no need for mediation.

"Given that both sides have declared that they are prepared to continue negotiations, a catalyst may be needed instead of a mediator, which would be another matter and we have already announced our agreement to hold talks without any prerequisite.

About the US request for opening a consulate in Iran, he said that this merely appeared in the media, which was even denied by the US.

"However, even if it was serious, I do not believe that the US might have any good intentions by taking such a measure," he added.

Concerning denial of visa to Iranian taekwondokas and water polo players by Argentina and Germany, Asefi said that he knows nothing about the taekwondokas but that Argentina in an improper move refrained from issuing visas to Iranian water polo players.

"The required documents had been delivered by Iranian athletes on time and Iran's Swimming Federation had done its best to the effect. However, the Argentinians refrained from issuing visa," he added.

Declaring Iran's official protest against Argentina in this respect, he noted that such moves are in conflict with the responsibilities of the countries hosting athletic competitions.

Asefi regretted the recent earthquake in Pakistan, India and Afghanistan and addressing the governments, people and survivors of the three quake-hit states expressed his sympathy.

Meanwhile, he declared Iran's readiness to provide the victims with relief aid and pointed to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's order to Iran's Red Crescent Society and other organizations to the effect.



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