Asefi: Iran's Nuclear Diplomacy Balanced and Broad Based

November 27, 2005

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear

Iran-Asefi Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi said here Sunday the path pursued by Iran's nuclear diplomacy and dialogue is balanced and broad-based encompassing European and non-European states, Russia, China and the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).

Speaking at his weekly press conference attended by domestic and foreign reporters, Asefi added such diplomacy existed before the recent session of the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) Board of Governors on Iran's nuclear case and would be continued in the future.

Asked about Iran's diplomatic measures to resume negotiations with the Europeans, he said, "Diplomatic measures and channels are always on the Foreign Ministry's agenda. To this end, Foreign Minister (Manouchehr Mottaki) had talks with his British, French, Belgian and Australian counterparts." He rejected a news reported by the German weekly magazine Der Spiegel saying Iran has offered North Korea oil and natural gas as payment for assistance in developing nuclear missiles, saying, "Such issue is not raised. This news is fundamentally incorrect."

"Such misinformation and news fabrication comes on the threshold of the IAEA Board of Governors' meeting. This is not correct at all." In response to a question on a visit by an IAEA delegation to the United Arab Emirates to supervise activities of Iranian companies in this country, he said, "I have heard the news but we have no company in the UAE engaged in illegal activities which will cause concern for us."

"The agency's representatives can supervise all countries. Such news fabrication is not very serious and important." Asked about Russia's participation in Iran's possible negotiations with European states, Asefi added, "The issue of Russia's direct participation in Iran's negotiations with the three European states (Germany, France and Britain) is not the question."

"We hold talks and negotiations with Russia as we have with other countries but the level of talks will be determined after receiving the proposal (on resumption of) talks." The spokesman pointed to an upcoming visit by Foreign Minister Mottaki to Turkey, saying, "The minister is to hold talks with his Turkish counterpart, president and prime minister. These meetings will have a crucial impact on the improvement of bilateral ties between the two countries."

"It is evident that during this visit, meetings will be arranged with senior officials. We consider Turkey a friend and neighbor with plenty of commonalties." On the time set for resumption of nuclear work at Natanz, he said, "Reuters filed a completely unfounded story in this respect."

"We have made no promises on Natanz. Everything has been carried out within the framework of voluntary measures but we prefer this issue to be clarified in serious and constructive negotiations."

"We are interested in undertaking nuclear fuel production in Iran through talks." Turning to the opening of Rafah checkpoint to neighboring Egypt, Asefi said, "This opening is a window for the Palestinian people who are jailed in a big prison and have no link with the outside world."

"The Zionist regime agreed to opening this checkpoint under foreign pressure but it stills violates the sovereignty of the Palestinians."

"This regime causes problems for the Palestinians by installing cameras. However the opening (of the checkpoint) is welcome."