Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Mohammad Ali Hosseini warned the world about the recent statements made by the US president against Iran’s nuclear activities, stressing that the stances adopted by George Bush pose a threat to the world peace and security. The US president has recently alleged that Iran’s continued nuclear activities push the world towards the World War III.
“The stances that he (Bush) has announced are themselves a threat to the world security and peace,” Hosseini told reporters during a weekly press conference here on Sunday, adding that the stances and views expressed by the US officials are based on unreal assumptions cooked by Washington itself.
He said such statements are nothing new and that such stances are aimed at bringing tension to the constructive atmosphere prevailing talks and cooperation between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
The spokesman further pointed to the current meeting between Iranian and IAEA experts, and said that the two sides had started another round of talks on Saturday on Tehran’s P1 and P2 centrifuges, adding that the talks are likely to continue on Monday.
The IAEA is seeking details on how Iran obtained components for its P1 type centrifuges at its nuclear enrichment plant at Natanz, and on its research with the more efficient P2 model.
The talks follow an agreement reached in August for Tehran to provide answers to outstanding questions over its nuclear program.
Asked who would represent Iran in nuclear talks with the EU, considering the rather unexpected resignation of the country’s top negotiator Ali Larijani on Saturday, Hosseini said that Tehran would send both the former and present chief nuclear negotiators, Ali Larijani and Saeed Jalili, to the meeting with Solana in Rome on Tuesday.
“Dr Jalili will be there, and Dr Larijani will be there as well,” he said, adding that Larijani will attend the meeting with Solana as the representative of the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in the SNSC.
Hosseini said that President Ahmadinejad has accepted Larijani’s resignation, but meantime reiterated that the country’s nuclear policies would remain unchanged.
“The Islamic Republic’s nuclear policies, strategies and goals are irrevocable,” he said.
“Our officials will continue strongly along the same road and no change will come about,” he added.
Hosseini dismissed talk of any divisions over policy or any change in strategy.
“There is complete solidarity among the ranks of Iranian officials.”
Larijani will in fact stay on the council in his position as Ayatollah Khamenei’s representative, and Hosseini did not confirm that the Rome meeting would be his last.
He said, while both would attend these talks, it was not yet clear if the both would attend future meetings.
“This is how we will attend this meeting. For the future let us wait and see,” he said.
Asked to comment on the recent accusations raised by the British officials about Iran’s intervention in Afghanistan, the spokesman denied the charges, and underlined that Iran is playing an active role in the reconstruction of its war-torn neighbor and in the restoration of peace and stability in that country in coordination with the Afghan government.
He further pointed to the current visit by Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki to the western Afghan city of Herat to attend the ministerial meeting of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) member states, and said that Mottaki is inspecting the process of Iran’s projects in Afghanistan on the sidelines of his participation in the ECO meeting.
Hosseini also termed Mottaki’s multilateral meetings with Afghanistan’s neighbors to reinvigorate cooperation and promote peace and stability in that country as among the main goals pursued by the Iranian foreign minister during his trip to the eastern neighbor of the Islamic Republic.
“Those countries making such accusations are usually in overt and covert contact with those groups which pose a major threat to peace and security in Afghanistan,” Hosseini added.
Elsewhere, the spokesman pointed to Turkey’s plan for an incursion against Kurdish militant bases in northern Iraq, and called on both sides to practice restraint, saying that dialogue between Ankara and Baghdad is the best solution.
“Diplomatic means should be used and dialogue should continue between Iraq and Turkey,” he said.
“Any solution that creates tension will only worsen the situation in northern Iraq, although we believe there is a need to confront the terrorist grouplets deployed in that region.”
The Turkish parliament last week approved a motion authorizing military strikes in northern Iraq for a one-year period against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has waged a 23-year armed campaign for Kurdish self-rule in southeast Turkey.
Syria, which like Iran, Iraq, and Turkey has a Kurdish minority, said it would back Turkish military action against the militants in northern Iraq.
Hosseini said Iran had no plan to mediate to end the dispute between Iraq and Turkey, but added, “The Islamic republic, however, welcomes any proposal that helps the return of peace and tranquility in that area.”
The militant Kurdish separatist group PJAK (Party of Free Life of Kurdistan) – has been behind a string of deadly attacks on security forces in northwestern Iran in recent months.
Iran has robust relations with Turkey, but has also built an increasingly strong relationship with the government in Baghdad after the fall of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003.
Elsewhere Hosseini responded to questions about the latest conditions of the five Iranian diplomats kidnapped during a raid by the US troops on Iran’s consulate general in the Northern Iraqi city of Erbil last January, and said Tehran is following up the case but Washington is throwing obstacles in the process.