Iranian Foreign Minister: Iran Decisive to Answer Questions on N. Activities

A00901729.jpgTEHRAN (FNA) Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki voiced Tehran’s determination to provide answers to the questions posed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) about its nuclear program.

Mottaki made the remarks in a meeting here on Sunday with the visiting Italian parliamentary delegation headed by Umberto Ranieri.

During the meeting, the Iranian top diplomat noted the two states’ age-old friendly ties and cooperation, and viewed Iran and Italy as two countries with important and effective roles in regional and international affairs, stressing the need for constant deliberations and consultations between the two countries’ officials.

He further pointed to Iraq, and said that conditions in the war-torn country have been improving since last summer.

Mottaki said that Iran’s attendance in talks with the US is aimed at assisting Iraqi people in establishing security and stability in the country.

“Iraq’s issues are very delicate and sensitive, hence, talks should be serious and the American side should be loyal to its results,” he underscored.

Describing Britain’s withdrawal from Basra as a correct decision, Mottaki referred to a proposal made by Iran at the Istanbul conference on Iraq and stressed the need for the foreign troops to leave Iraq and transfer responsibility of security affairs to the Iraqi government.

Regarding Lebanon, the Iranian foreign minister voiced support for regional and international efforts to solve the country’s problems, and reiterated the need for a comprehensive solution to Lebanon’s issues.

“We are keen to witness nomination of that country’s president as soon as possible,” he said, adding, “Lebanese people do not allow anyone from outside their borders to decide for their country.”

Mottaki further noted the Palestinian issue, and reminded that the 60 year long crisis in the Middle East has lingered on due to lack of justice.

“Iran has a democratic plan for solving the problem but a sufficient capacity should first be created within the international community in order for it to be presented and implemented,” he continued.

Referring to Iran’s nuclear issue, the foreign minister termed as positive the recent visit to Iran by IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei, and said that Tehran is seriously pursuing the process of answering the outstanding issues and that all should cooperate in order to finalize this issue by early March.

For his part, Umberto Ranieri voiced pleasure with his visit to Iran, and termed Iran a major and influential country in the region.

He further voiced concern over the status quo in Iraq, Afghanistan and some other regional countries, and expressed the hope that Iran could positively affect the situation in the said countries, given its high potentials and deep influence in the region.

The head of the Italian parliamentary delegation also called for an end to foreign interventions in Lebanon, stressing the need for the country to enjoy a prospect of full independence with sufficient guarantees.

“Therefore, we support rapid selection of the country’s president,” he concluded.

The Italian parliamentary delegation comprising members of the Foreign Policy Commission of the Chamber of Deputies left Rome on Saturday for Tehran.

The Mideast crisis, the latest developments in Central Asia and Iran-EU bilateral relations are among major topics discussed by the two sides. Pietro Marcenaro, Sabina Siniscaldi, Patrizia Paoletti Tangheroni, and Marco Zacchera are the other members of the Italian delegation.

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