Iran a Part of Solution to Iraq’s Problem

A023289811.jpgTEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said that the Islamic Republic is not a part of Iraq’s problem, but a part of solution to the problem.

Speaking to reporters in a joint press conference with his Belarusian counterpart Sergey Martynov here on Saturday, Mottaki said that during the last 4 years, Iran has always been a pioneer in extending support to political development in Iraq and formation of that country’s government.

He further stressed his country’s full assistance to Iraq in solving the existing problems, and reminded his proposal for the arrangement of a foreign ministerial meeting of Iraq’s neighboring states plus Egypt, which he said has received wide support from the Iraqi government.

The Iranian top diplomat reminded that his proposal has received a wide welcome from his Syrian, Iraqi and Saudi counterparts.

“Iraqi Foreign Minister Mr. Hoshyar Zebari told me during our phone talk that he would extend invitations to the foreign ministers of his country’s neighboring states and Egypt as soon as he returns home from his current trip,” he continued.

Asked if Iran and Saudi Arabia have reached an agreement on how to solve the crisis in Lebanon, specially considering the two sides’ negotiations in this regard during the recent visit to Tehran by the Saudi National Security Council Secretary, Mottaki said that the problem of Lebanon can merely be solved by the Lebanese people, government and different groups.

“The solution to this problem cannot be found outside Lebanon,” Mottaki added.

Elsewhere, he pointed to the recent visit to Tehran by the Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko, and described talks between the two countries’ presidents as constructive and fruitful.

Mottaki also mentioned that the two countries’ ministers were required to follow up on the agreements made by their presidents, and added, “The Iranian oil minister’s visit to Belarus served the same goal.”

He also said that the two sides would introduce other areas of cooperation on February 28, reminding that executive steps would be taken once initial agreements have been finalized in this regard.

Mottaki also said that Iran and Belarus have agreed to boost the present level of their trade exchanges i.e. US$40-50 million, to $500 million in the near future.

He also said that parliamentary delegations from the two countries would soon start exchanging visits.

The top diplomat also said that Iranian president would pay a visit to Minsk at the invitation of his Belarusian counterpart Aleksandr Lukashenko, adding that the visit would take place in the first half of 2007.

He also noted some reports about a recent directive by US President George W. Bush for the arrest and killing of Iranians in Iraq, and reminded, “Islamic Republic is a part of the solution to the Iraqi problem and not a part of the problem.”

Asked if he and Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Secretary Ali Larijani would attend an international security conference in Munich, the foreign minister said no decision has yet been made on the issue, but meantime underlined that Iran always seeks an active policy.

“We do not use or obey the policy of empty seats at international summits and meetings,” he stated.

The Iranian top diplomat also pointed to the United States’ psychological war on Iran, and said that his country’s national solidarity and integrity would defuse enemies’ plots and measures.

Regarding the nuclear issue, he stressed that Tehran would continue its legal activities in the nuclear field, but meantime assured that the Islamic Republic would continue its consultations with all the relevant parties to safeguard Iran’s national rights and remove the counterparty’s likely concerns.

He said that such consultations are aimed at reaching a comprehensive formula.

The Iranian foreign minister also stated that Russia’s Security Council Secretary Igor Ivanov is arriving in Tehran Saturday night to hold talks aimed at “finding a comprehensive formula for solving Iran’s nuclear case.”

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