Iranian FM to Visit Qatar to Discuss N. Issue

A014269415.jpgIranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki will visit Doha later this week to discuss the nuclear issue with Qatari authorities, Iranian Ambassador Mohamed Taher Rabbani said on Sunday.The ambassador said Iran would welcome any decision taken at the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (PGCC) leaders’ summit in Doha next month supporting his country’s “right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes”.

The ambassador told reporters that the Saudi proposal to enrich uranium needed by Iran in a neutral country was being considered by the Iranian leadership.

He said that his country had proposed a defense co-operation plan with the PGCC, and hoped that the Persian Gulf leaders would take a decision in this regard at the Doha summit.

According to him, the threats of military response to foreign aggressions made by some Iranian officials were not directed against the PGCC states but at the foreign countries which have a presence in the region.

“The Iranian president’s recent visit to Bahrain reflected the good intentions of Iran towards the Persian Gulf countries,” Rabbani said.

Asked about the visit of the Qatari Minister of State for Interior Affairs to Tehran, he said the two sides discussed security issues and extradition of criminals.

On the Iran-UAE dispute over three islands, he said Iran was ready to solve the issue bilaterally without the intervention of foreign powers.

“I don’t see any obstacle to settling the island dispute peacefully and we hope that the next PGCC summit supports the Iranian position.”

He thanked International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Mohamed ElBaradei for his “positive” report last week which “emphasized the peaceful nature of Iranian nuclear activity.”

“The report annoyed those who claim to be advocates of peace and human rights and therefore they want to oust ElBaradei from his post. We believe the international agency is the only authority to judge our nuclear plan.

“We allowed the inspectors free access to all nuclear sites and we answered all their questions with pleasure.

“It will be unfair if the UN Security Council continues to discuss the dossier. We will not respond to the Western pressure to halt the program and we are ready to defend our rights by all means, along with co-operating with the IAEA.”
The ambassador said it was unlikely the United States would attack his country, saying President George W Bush’s outbursts were psychological tools to dominate the region and to control the energy sources.

Bush’s statement about a Third World War was in response to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Iran, he said.

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