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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran's stand on presence in Sharm al-Sheikh to be announced soon

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Tehran, April 26, IRNA
IRI Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said here Wednesday Iran's stand on attending Iraq's neighbors conference in Sharm al-Sheikh would soon be announced.

According to IRNA Political Desk reporter, Mottaki made the comment during a joint press conference with his visiting Iraqi counterpart Hoshyar Zebari after holding a round of talks with him at ministry of Foreign Affairs on issues of mutual interest for Tehran and Baghdad.

Further elaborating on our country's stand on attending Sharm al-Sheikh Conference, he added, "There are still ambiguities from Tehran's point of the view regarding the matter, but keeping in mind Mr. Zebari's elaboration on the issue, we shall survey the matter and announce our decision on attending, or not attending the gathering soon."

The Iraqi Foreign Minster, too, emphasized at the joint press conference that Iraq understand's Iran's viewpoints on Sharm al-Sheikh Conference.


Zebari pointed out that Iraq's main objective in Sharm al-Sheikh is gaining the support of our neighbors and all involved countries for cooperation in restoration of peace and stability in Iraq.

He added, "The heaviest responsibility in that respect is on our neighbors' shoulders, to assist us in winning the campaign against the terrorists, and we seek the assistance of the Arab countries, the regional countries, and the international society in order to achieve that important objective."

The Iraqi Foreign Minister pointed out he hopes tension between Iran and the United States and the other Western countries would not have a negative effect on the status and stability of Iraq, pointing out, "Any step towards ease of tension between Iran and he United States would be a move in favor of Iraq."

He added, "That is because we are in need of a logical atmosphere, and comprehensive cooperation in order to achieve success in our political and security plans in Iraq."

Zebari considered Iran's presence at Sharm al-Sheikh of great importance, arguing, "Iran's status and role in the region is undeniable, and this is an opportunity for us, for Iran, and for all involved parties to play all their winner cards, in a bid to ease off entire tensions and worries."


ocussing on status of the Iranian diplomats taken hostage by US military forces in Arbil, Mottaki said, "The loathsome move of the US forces in attacking Islamic Republic of Iran's Head Consular Office in Arbil, destroying a part of its building, and taking hostage our diplomats were against all international laws and conventions, and are denounced based on any diplomatic standard."

The Iranian Foreign Minister also criticized the UN Security Council that has despite Iran's objections and requests for taking clear stands on the matter so far refused to do so due to the pressure imposed by certain UNSC members.

He added, "The matter is unfortunately still not even on the agenda of that council."

Mottaki reiterated, "We consider the United States fully responsible in illegal detention and hostage taking of our consular officials, and we believe the Iraqi Government is responsible for freeing them without waste of time."

He added, "We demand, and seriously expect that our consular officials would be freed, returned home, and have reunions with their beloved families."


A reporter asked about the contents of Iran's top nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani's latest round of talks with EU Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana. Mottaki replied, "Their talks are based on two main columns, one of which is confirming Iran's right to enrich, and the other one is eliminating all ambiguities, and assuring the West about the peaceful nature of our nuclear activities." He added, "We hope in this round of talks both sides would enter the negotiations with a new and constructive approach in a bid to reach the comprehensive formula that is to be achieved."

Al-Jazeera TV reporter asked the Iraqi Foreign Minister whether he was pleased with outcome of his talks with his Iranian counterpart.

Zebari replied, "Al-Jazeera TV does not favor the settling of differences of opinions!"

He added, "We are now at the beginning of a long path, having ended my first round of talks with my Iranian counterpart, and there are other rounds ahead. Ambiguities in Iran's mind about the time, place, and general status of Sharm al-Sheikh Conference need to be resolved."

The Iraqi FM said, "I have informed the Iranian officials about he entire details of the conference."


Hoshyar Zebari clearly announced that the Iraqi Government has made up its mind about deporting the entire remaining MKO terrorists from Iraq.

He further elaborated, "The Iraqi Government has commissioned a special committee to see into the full implementation of that decision.

The Iraqi FM said, "We have even talked to some European countries to provide for residence of the MKO members after they would be deported from our country."


Zebari informed that on painful case of detaining Iranian diplomat Jalal Sharafi in Iraq, we have established a fact finding committee to study the various aspects of the unfortunate incidence.

The Iraqi FM said, "Beyond doubt the result of that committee's survey would lead to identifying all those that have been involved in the case."


In response to a question on Iranian diplomats that have been taken hostage by occupying US forces, he said, "The Iraqi Government has done all its best for release of the kidnapped Iranian diplomats in Iraq, and will keep on doing so till their release."

He added, "We hope they would soon be freed and return to Iran to their families."

The Iranian Foreign Minister also pointed out that Tehran has launched efforts through various channels aimed at freeing the Iranian diplomats that have been taken hostage by US forces.

Zebari added, "Efforts aimed at releasing the Iranian diplomats from US detention are still going on our part, but unfortunately the Iraqi Government cannot give any guarantees in that respect." He emphasized, "We agree with Mr. Mottaki on the point that the Iraqi Government is responsible for the release of the Iranian diplomats."

He all the same stressed, "Release of the Iranian diplomats should ot be an obstacle for presence of Iran at Sharm al-Sheikh Conference."



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