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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Ahmadinejad's letter to Bush not a sign of talks: Asefi

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Tehran, May 14, IRNA
Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi said here Sunday that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's letter to his American counterpart President George W. Bush does not indicate that Iran will hold talks with the US.

Addressing domestic and foreign media in his weekly briefing, he said in response to the question whether the letter indicates that the taboo of Iran-US talks is broken, he said that in fact it was merely a message from the president of one country to his counterpart from another.

The spokesman said that in the letter, Ahmadinejad has referred to the difficulties facing the world and how to tackle them, adding that its content was reviewed by officials from the related ministries and organizations and a consensus was reached on it.

Concerning the three million population of Iranian expatriates residing overseas, he pointed to them as part of the country's body and said that the Foreign Ministry is quite persistent in defending their rights.

Asefi said that Ahmadinejad intends to write letters to the leaders of various countries, which are being planned and drawn up.

On Russia's proposed plan on uranium enrichment in its territory, he said that it is still on the agenda.

In reply to another question about the claim of a few Western diplomats that some samples of enriched uranium obtained in Lavizan have been reported to have a high density, he dismissed it as insignificant, given that such claims had been raised earlier but had been disproved by the UN nuclear watchdog.

Turning to the UN watchdog chief, Mohamed ElBaradei's view on the issue, he said that he too has played down the point.

Responding to another question about the possible proposal of Europe to Iran, he said the issue of research is currently on the agenda and that there is no point in returning to the past discussions.

Meanwhile, the Foreign Ministry spokesman said that if the nuclear dossier is returned to the agenda of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Iran will be prepared to reach understanding on the issue.

Asefi rejected the claim that France has called on Iran to appoint a logical diplomat as its ambassador to Paris so that he can manage to expound properly on the approach of the Iranian government.

About ElBaradei's proposal on Iran-US talks and Washington's opposition to it, he said, "Prior to the US rejection, we had declared that there is no need for such talks."

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