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Asefi criticizes Russia for not complying with its commitment

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Tehran, June 25, IRNA

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi here Sunday said that Russia has not fulfilled its commitments properly.

Addressing reporters in his weekly press conference, he made the above remark in response to a question about the Russians delay in completing Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant.

Criticizing the Russian partner working on the project, he hoped that the relevant contractor will comply with its commitments to this end and will make up for the delay.

Replying to a question about the timetable of the project and whether its implementation has been postponed until 2007, he hoped that they will comply with their commitments and compensate for the delay.

Turning to the foreign ministers meeting of 57 Islamic states in Baku and their support for Iran's peaceful nuclear activities, he said that this shows the support of international community for the country's peaceful nuclear program.

Asefi pointed to the talks of Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki with German, Italian and Spanish officials as well as his speech in Geneva as part of Iran's diplomacy.

In response to a question about the concerns of the countries bordering the Persian Gulf over the safety of Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant, he said that Iran's nuclear issue was discussed with some of these countries and they were told that there is no cause for concern in this respect.

He referred to the remarks of Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal on the matter as a sign of the accord of the Persian Gulf states with Iran and underlined that Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant has a high safety standard, which has been confirmed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Responding to a question about the precondition offered by the German foreign minister for Iran's uranium enrichment, he said that bringing up the issue of enrichment means turning back.

Asefi referred to Iran's stance based on holding talks with no precondition and said, "By presenting its package of incentives, Europe is moving along the right path. However, any precondition will only limit the atmosphere of talks.

"During talks with EU3, we declared that setting any precondition will be irrational and that understanding can only be reached through talks."

About the outcome of Mottaki's talks with the United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, he said that Mottaki briefed Annan on Iran's views.

Asefi said that Iran welcomes the interest of European states in holding talks.

The Foreign Ministry spokesman pointed to the talks of IAEA Chief Mohamed ElBaradei, EU Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov with Iranian nuclear negotiators and said that such contacts clarify Iran's views and show the right path to reaching understanding.

Asked whether Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul has brought any message for Iran, he said, "To the best of our knowledge, he has no written message and we have not heard any word on it from the visiting Turkish officials."

However, he did not dismiss the possibility of any verbal message.

Asefi pointed to Turkey as a country with a friendly approach to Iran and said that during talks with Gul, bilateral relations and the country's nuclear issue will be discussed.


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