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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Asefi: Iran enjoys favorable ties with Shanghai Treaty members

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Tehran, May 21, IRNA
Iran-Asefi-Security
Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi said Sunday that as the observer member of Shanghai Treaty, Iran enjoys favorable relations with its member states.

Talking to domestic and foreign reporters in his weekly briefing, he said that the scheduled participation of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the next meeting of Shanghai Treaty as the head of the observer member state would provides an opportunity for the president to express Iran's views.

Turning to the call of a number of world countries for membership in Shanghai Treaty, he said that the process of membership is quite lengthy, adding that the relevant requests are assessed together and that this has also been true for Iran.

Asefi said that participation in the next session of Shanghai Treaty, which is expected to be held by late spring, is on President Ahmadinejad's agenda, unless something more important comes up.

Stressing that membership in regional treaties secure the interests of countries, he said that regional treaties promote regional cooperation and protect the interests of the concerned states.

In response to a question about UAE's construction projects underway in the Persian Gulf islands, he said that such measures should not affect the environment of the region.

"Neither should such measures leave any negative impact on the economic interests of the neighboring states in exclusive areas," he added.

He urged that the matter is pursued by Iran, adding that if they leave any detrimental impact either on the environment or the economy of UAE's neighboring states, Iran will follow up the matter either unilaterally or multilaterally.

"We expect The Regional Organization for Protection of Marine Environment to oversee the matter and to prevent it," he added.

About the suspicious death of an Iranian citizen in France, he said that he has talked to the French ambassador to Tehran about it, adding that Iranian embassy in Paris has also pursued the issue, but no clear response has so far been given.

In response to a question about another Iranian citizen who has been killed in Canada, he said, "Despite its claims on the human rights and rights of citizens, Canada has failed to respond to our inquiries."
In reply to another question about the three Iranian citizens detained in the Guantanamo Bay Prison, he said Iran's Interest Section in Washington has been informed to pursue the matter.

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