Assefi's Response to Remarks by Italian Deputy Foreign Minister

September 17, 2003

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear

Related Country: 

  • Italy

Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Dr Hamidreza Assefi expressed regret on Wednesday over the remarks made at a public session of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) by the Italian representative to the European Union (EU) that EU`s cooperation with Iran depends on Tehran`s acceptance of the additional protocol to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

These statements which have been made under duress from some countries, provide no help to strengthen constructive Iran-IAEA cooperation and will not deter Iran from its legitimate rights to have access to peaceful nuclear technology either.

`Iran and EU have started their diplomatic and economic dialogue based on mutual respect`, Dr Assefi said`, adding, `but, as Iran has not accepted any precondition for the start of these talks, it will not accept any preconditions for their continuation.

He also expressed hope that the EU will put pressure on the Israeli regime to disclose its nuclear arsenal as well as clarify its position on efforts to prevent production and stockpiling of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) to preserve international peace and security.