France Calls for Boosting of Ties with Iran

A0226306.jpgTEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- Despite the United States’ frequent calls on the EU to increase pressures on Iran and limit ties with the Islamic Republic, Paris has called for the enhancement of all-out relations with Tehran and this has been the underlying cause for the recent visit to France by President’s senior advisor, Iranian government spokesman said.

“French officials submitted a message to us which both showed their profound enthusiasm for developing all-out ties with Iran and asked for the dispatch of a special envoy to Paris to discuss the two sides’ wide potentials for further cooperation in all various areas,” Gholam Hossein Elham told reporters during his weekly press briefing here on Monday.

“Thus, President Ahmadinejad dispatched his senior advisor Hashemi Samareh to France,” he continued, saying that during his talks with various French officials, including President Jacque Chirac, Samareh has exchanged views about enhancement of cooperation through optimum utilization of the two states’ potentials.

Elham further described Samareh’s negotiations with the French officials as positive and useful, asserting that the talks have paved a proper and convenient ground for the development of ties.

Elsewhere, he referred to Iran’s nuclear issue and mentioned, “What we have presented as our response to the EU’s package of proposals included this very main point that the two sides can resolve the issue through reasonable negotiations and in compliance with the international rules and laws.”

The Spokesman viewed Iran-West talks as positive, saying that Tehran perceives a desirable prospect for the present trend of negotiations as there resides no restriction in the way of talks.

Describing time-bound suspension as a misunderstanding, he stressed once more that nuclear talks must be free from prerequisite.

Elham rejected reports that Iran could agree to the short-term suspension of its enrichment activities for the resumption of nuclear talks with the west, reiterating that such a notion was a result of a “misunderstanding.”

He said, “Iran has made no decision whatsoever to suspend enrichment,” but meantime stressed that all issues pertinent to Iran’s nuclear case “can be raised in the negotiations.”

Asked about the possibility of a meeting between the Iranian and American Presidents during the upcoming UN General Assembly meeting at the United Nations headquarters in New York, the Government Spokesman reminded, “The issue at work is not negotiation or talks, rather there could be a debate between President Ahmadinejad and his American counterpart George W Bush, and when it comes to debating, where else could be a better place than the United Nations?”

In response to the recent insulting statements by Pope Benedict XVI against the religion of Islam, he reminded the rich and historical culture of Islam, and stressed that the remarks by the leader of the world’s Catholic church result from ignorance and lack of comprehension and proper understanding of the Islamic culture.

Meantime, the official viewed Pope’s remarks as worrisome, and reminded that international movement of Zionism, supported by the US, intends to undermine solidarity of religions through sowing seeds of discord among them.

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