Kharrazi Holds Press Conference at the End of a Meeting of the Organization of the Islamic Countries

May 30, 2003

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear

Negotiations between Iran and the U.S. is meaningful only when based on mutual respect and principle of equality, said Iranian foreign minister , Dr Kamal Kharrazi in a press conference held Friday, at the end of the 30th session of the foreign ministers of the Organization of the Islamic Countries (OIC) in Tehran.

Asked about relations between Iran and the U.S., Dr Kharrazi said : an atmosphere full of intimidation and threatening against the Islamic Republic of Iran, and interference in its internal affairs , will be conducive to no fruitful negotiations.

The U.S. must prove that it is genuinely ready to enter into a negotiations based on mutual respect,he added.

Regarding a question conveying the idea that foreign ministers of Kuwait, Qatar , Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates had failed to participate in the session due to U.S. pressure, Dr Kharrazi said : These countries are independent states, each pursuing its own special policy.

That these ministers did not participate in the session due to the U.S. pressure , is something i don`t know, but we have been informed that their failure to attend the session had been because of their tight program.

Responding to a reporter requesting him to announce the names of al-Qaeda members who have been recently arrested in Iran, Dr Kharrazi said the Isalmic Republic of Iran has a long border with Pakistan and Afghanistan, and in this context has tried its best to track down any member of al-Qaeda , proved to be living in Iran, to be extradited subsequently to their countries of origin or European , African or Persian Gulf states.

These persons have come to Iran by forged passports and false names ,and since they are now in detention and under interrogation, I cannot announce their names, because their identity is not clear yet.

As regards the recent remarks by a Russian offical that Moscow is unaware of Iran`s nuclear plans, the Iranian foreign minister said: Russia has rendered a great deal of help to Iran in construction and completion of Bushehr power plant which is now in its final phases.

While emphasizing that Russia is committed to Iran to meet the electricity and fuel demands of the said power plant, he said other countries are also invited to help Iran construct power plants.

Regarding Iran`s pre-conditions for signing the annex protocol for non-proliferation of the nuclear weapons ,Dr Kharrazi said : Already some restrictions and pressures are being exerted on Iran, which are in violation of international conventions, because on the basis of Non-Proliferation Treaty , the countries have the right to benefit from the nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

It is while there are all kinds of sanctions and pressures against Iran, and thus signing a new protocol or convention is not accepted by Iran`s public opinion, he added.

He emphasized that if the sanctions are lifted and Iran can have access to nuclear technology, then Tehran is fully prepared to sign any kind of new protocol.

In response to a question regarding the exchange of the Monafeqin Orgnization leaders and al-Qaeda members, between Iran and the U.S., Dr Kharrazi said these issues are press issues, and there is no problem in raising them in the press for exchange of opoinions.

He further said, these issues are meaningful only when the Americans are prepared to act transparently.

The U.S. is not serious in its struggle against terrorism and in fact it supports terrorists, he said adding that the issue has little chance to be realized.

Dr Kharrazi said that the U.S. is pursuing a double-standard policy in dealing with terrorism.

If a particular terrorist move is against the U.S. interests in any part of the world, Washington condemns it, but when it is against any other country`s interest, it chooses to be silent and does nothing to confront it, he said , noting that Washington has even signed a ceasefire agreement with some terrorist groups.

In response to a question that how far one can count on Islamic countries`support in face of American threats, Dr Kharrazi said , Organization of the Islamic Countries is not a military mechanism , but an organization for solidarity among its members to express their support and unity towards each other.

This organization`s message is very important from the political aspect, and is a manifestation of unity of Islamic countries in dealing with a particular issue.

Today all the world is faced with unilateralism of the U.S., to which not only Islamic countries, but also closest allies of the U.S. have expressed their concern.

Regarding military unity of the Islamic countries Dr Kharrazi said : Establishing military and security organization is not as simple as political organization.

OIC is only a politial organization .

To establish military organization in the Muslim world for collective security , there is a need for specific conditions, and it is not yet in the agenda of OIC.

Responding to another question that whether Iran wants to establish another organization like Lebanon`s Hizbullah, in Iraq, Dr Kharrazi said, the U.S. and its allies try to justify their failures.

They claim that Iran meddles in the internal affairs of Iraq,but they lack any evidence whatsoever in this regard.

Therefore it is baseless to accuse Iran on this issue, he added.

Iran has never interfered in the internal affairs of Iraq, and is not interfering at present, and welcomes any decision made by Iraqi people as regards the formation of a government in that country, he said, adding that what matters is friendly relations on the basis of respect and good neighbourliness.

He further said the U.S. aims to have a long presence in the region, and added : If the U. S. wants to help Iraqi people it should pay attention to the concerns of Iraq`s neighbours and seek their advice in order to render help for establishment of a democrartic government in that country.

Unfortunately the U.S. defense minister , Donald Ramsfeld several days ago announced that Washington has no need to seek advice from Iraq`s neighbours.

In response to another question as regards the relations between Iran and Egypt he said : Egypt and Iran are two important countries in the region, with common interests, and they should cooperate with each other due to the responsibilities that they have in the region.

Dr Kharrazi made it clear that the relations between Tehran and Cairo have progressed tremendously,compared to the past, and many efforts are being made for establishment of full relations.

He said the negotiations between Tehran and Cairo should continue,so that the problems between the two countries are solved as soon as possible, and the relations are established.

However this issue needs the passsage of time, he added.

Asked that despite limited relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia,a defense agreement between Tehran and Baku would be signed , he said Iran has relations with both Armenia and azerbaijan, and for the same reason it can play a role in solving the problems between the two countries. While expressing satisfaction over the direct negotiations between Heidar Alief and Robert Kucharian,Dr Kharrazi said: If Azerbaijan is willing and ready to enter into defense cooperation with Iran, we see no problem to it.

Dr Kharrazi also described the results of 30th session of foreign ministers of the Islamic countries as successful and said: Organization of the Islamic Countries should play a more active role in the trend of the developments, and present itself as representative of the entirety of Muslim Ummah.

Referring to the slogan of the session ` unity and dignity ` he said, unity and dignity are requisite for success of the Islamic countries, faced with many challenges at present.

He deemed the holding of the session of foreign ministers in Tehran as necessary and said : In this session , 35 foreign ministers, one cabinet minister, and 4 ministers of state were present, which represents an increase in the number of participants, compared to the average number of the previous sessions.

In this session 176 resolutions were adopted in political , economic, cultural and administrative and financial committees.

Referring to the resolution No.18 , Dr Kharrazi said : In this resolution attention was payed to the security of all the countries by Islamic countries and interference in the affairs of other countries , under any pretext was condemned.

In the resolution No.19 unilateral economic sanctions against Islamic countries were condemned, and solidarity was announced with countries like Islamic Republic of Iran, who have been sanctioned unilaterally, he added.

Dr Kharrazi said , in the resolution No.43 it was approved that a ` supreme committee `to be formed for implementation of general assembly`s programs on the idea of dialogue among civilizations.

In the resolution No.1 , according to the proposal of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the existence of any link between Islam and terrorism pretended by some Western media was condemned , and the Islamic countries were requested to counter it ,through their informtion dissemination programs,he said, and added : In the session emphasize was put on the need for elimination of nuclear weapons,and the countries possessing such weapons were requested to fulfill their commitment in this regard.

He stipulated : the participants also expressed concern over Israel`s refusal to join the disarmament conventions especially Non-prolifaration Treaty, and requested the internatrional community to put pressure on this regime to join the basic conventions for disarmament and take measures for putting its nuclear installations under the supervision of International Atomic Energy Agency.

Dr Kharrazi also announced the approval of a new document in the framework of the disarmament resolution of OIC, and said, in this resolution emphasize has been put on the need for multilateralism for settlement of international problems the member countries of OIC also emphasized on the need for concluding obligatory agreements , based on offering commitments on the part of the countries possessing nuclear weapons, not to attack or threat to attack the countries lacking such weapons, he added.

Dr Kharrazi while putting emphasize on the increase of effectiveness of OIC , said : For this purpose , the Islamic Republic of Iran offered a proposal based on establishment of a new mechanism at the level of political elites of countries, which was approved.

He went on to say : As regards Palestinian problem 8 resolutions were approved , and on the issue of Iraq also emphasize was put on withdrawl of occuping forces , preservation of Iraq`s independance ,and establishment of a democraic and popular government in that country.

Referring to the session of six countries neighbouring Iraq, as well as Bahrein and Egypt, on the sidelines of Tehran`s session, Dr Kharrazi said , the declaration of that session was approved by all the 57 member countries of OIC.