Iran prefers cooperation to confrontation on its nuclear case, Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said here Tuesday.
Mottaki was speaking to reporters after a second meeting with the visiting Kazakh Foreign Minister Kasymzhomart Tokayev, who arrived here Tuesday morning at the head of a political delegation for a two-day visit.
Referring to latest developments in Iran’s nuclear case, he said Europe has made a new offer to Iran which European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana presented to Tehran on Tuesday.
Speaking of the new offer, he said: “We do not predict a difficult situation for the country.”
“Shuttle diplomacy, if it is in good faith, will allow us to find grounds for understanding.”
Speaking of Europe’s new proposal, Mottaki said that Iran will “carefully study” it.
Pointing to remarks of US officials that the military option was still on the table, he said that the United States was not in a position to add more burdens to American taxpayers. “It has expressed its readiness to hold talks with Iran.”
He said it was to be expected that other quarters in the US would seek other options, but in his view “a diplomatic solution would have more chance.”
On bilateral ties with Kazakhstan, the Iranian minister said in talks held between the two sides it was agreed that the two countries’ trade volume would be raised from the “current 900 million dollars to two billion dollars.”
Referring to the two countries’ cooperation in the field of energy, he added: “We held talks on Kazakhastan exports of gas to Iran through Iranian pipelines. The sides stressed that the project will be economical in technical terms.”
Asked about the issue of a legal regime for the Caspian Sea, he said there was a strong determination to reach a consensus on the issue during an upcoming summit of the sea’s littoral states.
The summit, he added, will be “a step forward because the Caspian Sea is a sea of peace and friendship which belongs to all regional states. Countries outside the region have no share in this sea.” The Iranian minister also appreciated Kazakhstan continuing “support for Iran’s legal stance on its peaceful nuclear program.” He praised the two countries’ similarity in stances on issues raised at international fora.
“There are no limits to expansion of ties with Kazakhstan,” Mottaki said, and expressed optimism the two countries will witness “more progressive developments in the future.”