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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran advises IAEA Board of Governors to defend findings on Iran

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Tehran, March 5, IRNA
Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki here Monday recommended Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to defend the agency's findings on Iranian nuclear program.

Mottaki told reporters in a joint press conference with Chadian Foreign Minister Ahmat Allam-Mi that Iran is committed to criteria of the IAEA and Iranian nuclear program should be examined by the specialized agency of the United Nations rather than the Security Council.

Asked about different proposals to help resolve the dispute between Iran and the Western nations on Iran's nuclear program, he said that Iran would study the proposals.

He hoped that constructive negotiations would be held between Iran and the parties involved in the dispute to leave behind the current stand-off on Iranian nuclear program, Responding to a question on possibility of talks between Iran and the US, the Iranian minister said, "If the US presents a formal proposal, we will consider it."

He added that Iran has received informal offers on the issue through different channels, saying, "Any decision in this respect will depend on a formal request from the US."

Mottaki pointed to his talks with Pakistani deputy foreign minister on Sunday on terrorist acts on eastern borders of Iran and said, "We proposed the Pakistani government to carry out an appropriate program to dismantle the terrorist groups on the border area.

"However, Iran is ready to counter with the case in cooperation with Pakistan."

He added that Pakistan could also prepare ground for Iran to crack down the terrorist groups.

Asked about fate of Ali-Reza Asgari, deputy former defense minister Ali Shamkhani, who was disappeared in Turkey, Mottaki said, "Asgari, a retired employee and a manager of Defense Ministry has been disappeared on a trip to Turkey.

"Director-general of Foreign Ministry for consular affairs is currently in Turkey to investigate the case. He has called on the Turkish government to inquire into the issue and give explanation on Asgari's whereabouts."

On situation of Iranian consular officials in the northern Iraqi city of Erbil and an Iranian diplomat kidnapped in Baghdad, the minister stated, "The US is responsible for abduction of the officials and the Iraqi government is responsible for their release as well." US forces broke into Iran's consulate in Erbil on January 11 after disarming its guards and using force to break open the gate of the consulate building.

They ransacked the consulate, arrested six consular staff (one of whom has since been released). They also seized the consulate's computers and documents.

Meanwhile, the second secretary of the Iranian embassy in Baghdad, Jalal Sharafi, was also abducted by masked men in front of the Baghdad branch of the Iranian state-owned Bank Melli on February 4 and brought to an unknown place.

The five abducted Iranian consular staff and Iranian diplomat are still being held.

Mottaki recommended the US to modify its policies in Iraq, saying, "In case of lack of security in Iraq, all parties will be damaged.

The two foreign ministers also underlined the need to further broaden ties between the two countries.

The Islamic Republic of Iran is ready to transfer its experience in oil exploitation to Chad, Mottaki said.

He also voiced Iran's readiness to mediate between Chad and Sudan in order to resolve their disputes.

Chad's foreign minister, for his part, underlined the need for expansion of ties between Iran and Chad and called for Iran to mediate between Chad and Sudan.


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