Iran Still hopeful about Diplomatic Solution to N. Issue

A02476764.jpgIran still hoped a diplomatic solution to its nuclear program issue could be achieved in spite of efforts by the West to pass a new UN Security Council resolution stepping up sanctions, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said in the Slovenian capital Ljubljana on Wednesday. Mottaki reiterated Iran’s insistence that its nuclear program was “peaceful” during his meetings with Slovenian Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel, Prime Minister Janez Jansa and President Janez Drnovsek, the Slovenian national news agency STA reported.

Mottaki said a compromise was essential to kick-starting talks that could lead to a “comprehensive solution.”

If Iran and the West agreed on concessions resulting in a suspension in the West’s push against Iran in the UN Security Council and Iran’s honoring of the Additional Protocols to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), a diplomatic solution could be achieved “within three to four weeks,” said Mottaki.

He said that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has confirmed that Iran’s current activities were “safe,” adding that Iran could provide sufficient assurances that its nuclear program would not diverge from peaceful purposes in the future.

Mottaki came to Slovenia to establish contacts at a time Slovenia chairs the Board of Governors of the IAEA and gets ready to hold the EU presidency in the first half of 2008.

Addressing a press conference after the talks with Mottaki, Rupel said that Slovenia supported the right of all countries, including Iran, to nuclear technology for peaceful means. But he added that Slovenia adhered to the EU’s position on Iran’s nuclear program.

A statement from Drnovsek’s office said that talks with Mottaki focused on “efforts by the international community and Iran to reach a peaceful solution on Iran’s nuclear program for the benefit of peace and stability in the energy-rich region.”

According to a statement from the Slovenian prime minister’s office, Jansa and Mottaki agreed that members of the international community needed to work in unison in order to promote stability in the Middle East.

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