Iran awaiting Europe's proposal: FM spokesman
IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency
Tehran, May 17, IRNA
Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi said here Wednesday that Iran was still waiting for Europe's new proposal on how to resolve the current nuclear standoff.
Asefi made the remarks to reporters on the sidelines of a Majlis open session.
"Iran has received no official offer yet. The proposal is just being talked about in the press.
"Until we have received the proposal, we cannot express our opinion about it in great detail," he said.
"We will not exchange our rights with incentives that the Europeans may offer. They should first recognize our rights" and we will consider their offer, he added.
"We are ready to offer our market to Europe" as an incentive for recognizing Iran's peaceful nuclear energy," he said.
"Iran's 70-million population will provide a big market for Europe," he added.
Referring to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's letter to various heads of foreign government, the spokesman informed that "more letters will be sent soon."
"Certain countries have been chosen to receive these letters but since they have not been finalized yet, it would be better not to mention this subject."
President Ahmadinejad wrote a letter to US President George W Bush on May 8 suggesting new ways to resolve the two countries' differences and also spoke of current global tensions as well as the need to find solutions to the many problems of the world.
Asefi said the letter written to Bush outlined Iran's views and stances on global issues as well as world public opinion on US policies.
"If other countries look at the letter objectively and with a view to solving problems, they will indeed find ways to solve problems," he said.
Referring to Iran's consultations with neighboring states to thwart moves of terrorists to infiltrate the country, the spokesman said: "Iran has a long eastern border. We have held several talks with Pakistani officials and called Pakistan's ambassador to the Iranian foreign ministry several times."
"We are negotiating with neighboring states, including Pakistan, to find a solution to the problem (of terrorist acts in borders) as otherwise all regional states would incur damage," he added.
Armed bandits fired at 12 people traveling on the Bam-Kerman road in the southeastern Iranian province of Kerman late Saturday.
All 12 died in the firing after their cars were stopped some 35 kilometers from the quake-stricken city of Bam.
The victims were all shot in their chest by the gunmen after they were forced to leave their cars.
The attackers, after killing the passengers, set ablaze their vehicles and escaped to the nearby Kafout heights.
"These operations should not magnify the power of the wicked.
"Neighboring states should cooperate with each other to fight criminal elements that threaten security," Asefi said.
Asked about the entry of a a group of US tourists into Iran, he said: "A non-governmental tourist company hosted the team. The US tourists entered Iran on tourist visas."
"The tourists oppose Bush's policies and are here on their own initiative," he added.
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