Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Mohammad Ali Hosseini stressed that Iran’s maneuvers in the Persian Gulf aim to strengthen the country’s deterrent power and that they don’t serve to pose a threat to any country.Speaking to reporters at his weekly press conference here in Tehran on Sunday, Hosseini said that the Iranian officials have frequently announced that the military exercises have a message of peace, friendship and security for the region.
“We have always raised proposals to initiate collective security measures and treaties in the region and we have had frequent political briefing sessions to inform the regional countries of our peaceful intentions in this regard,” he said in response to the question whether Iran is prepared to suspend its maneuvers to remove concerns of Arab countries about the Islamic Republic’s war games in the Persian Gulf.
Asked if nuclear talks between Iran and the West have come to a dead-line, the spokesman said, “We have always stressed the need for continued negotiations to find a logical solution based on international rules and regulations and all the visits to other countries and meetings with their officials serve the same goals.”
Meantime, he informed that some of the counterparties seem to have stronger motivations to resume talks with Iran, adding, “If others join this group, then there will be the hope that the settlement of the case is facilitated.”
Hosseini voiced Tehran’s preparedness to attend prerequisite-free talks with all the member states of the Group 5+1 i.e. the US, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany.
Underlining Iran’s continued enrichment activities, Hosseini said Iran is prepared to consider and study any official proposal for talks with the US.
The official also underlined that any other option but talks in Iran’s nuclear case would complicate the issue further.
In response to another question about the US allegations concerning Iran’s involvement in unrests in Iraq, he said that assistance and cooperation with the Iraqi government sets a priority for the Islamic Republic, mentioning that unrests and instability in Iraq are against Iran’s interests.
He said Iran strives to consolidate and promote its age-old and historical ties with Iraq.
The spokesman described US allegations about Iran as unfounded, and continued, “After long arduous efforts, they presented all they had as documents allegedly testifying to Iran’s involvement in Iraq’s insecurities, but the documents were so baseless that they were even rejected by Americans themselves.
Referring to the fate of the five Iranian missioners who were kidnapped during a raid by the US forces on Iran’s Consulate General in the northern Iraqi city of Erbil, he said the foreign ministry has made contacts with the International Red Cross and demanded them to follow up on the issue.
“Representative of the Red Cross has finally succeeded in meeting the five mission staffers and has been informed of their objections,” he stated.
Asked to comment on the recent meeting of 7 heads of Muslim states in Islamabad, Hosseini stressed that the summit had caused certain ambiguities and questions, reminding that all the relevant sides should have been invited to the conference.
“All the sides concerned should have taken part in the Islamabad meeting,” the spokesman reiterated, adding that Pakistan’s ambassador to Tehran has been invited to Iran’s Foreign Ministry to discuss issues related to the Islamabad meeting.
In response to the question if there is a likely meeting between Iranian and US officials on the sidelines of Baghdad security talks, Hosseini said that such a meeting is not on the agenda.
He declined to confirm that Iran may attend the Baghdad security talks, but said, “We will attend the meeting in case we conclude that it is a right thing to do.”
The diplomat further voiced Iran’s support for any efforts directed at reinvigorating the security and government of Iraq, and underscored that Tehran will be represented at the conference if only the measure proves to be of some help to Iraq.
Meantime, the spokesman reminded that the proposal to hold a meeting of the foreign ministers of Iraq’s neighboring states in Baghdad had first been raised by the Iranian foreign minister, saying that the Iranian Foreign Minister and his Iraqi counterpart have made several contacts to discuss the issue.
He also pointed to a meeting between Mottaki and Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal on Saturday on the sidelines of the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s day-long visit to Riyadh, where the two sides discussed Baghdad meeting.”
Asked about the Middle-East Peace Plan, he said that no plan could ever lead to desirable results unless it deals with the historical roots of the Middle East crisis and only if it focuses on a logical, fair and fundamental solution to the problem.
Elsewhere, the foreign ministry official called on all Iranian pilgrims to pass the country’s borders with Iraq only through the legal channels and border passages and in full coordination with the Iranian Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization.