Iran, Egypt normalizing relations: Qashqavi

October 7, 2008 - 0:0

TEHRAN (IRNA) -- Foreign Ministry spokesman Hassan Qashqavi said on Monday that Tehran and Cairo are currently normalizing relations.

Talking to reporters, he said both Iran and Egypt enjoy great history and rich civilizations which serve as backbone of ties between the two nations.
He advised Cairo not to let marginal issues influence the trend of normalization of ties and developing cooperation.
No reason to forgo uranium enrichment
There is no reason for Iran to drop uranium enrichment as there is no guarantee that West would meet the country’s demand on nuclear fuel, Qashqavi said.
He went on to say that because the countries who claimed to supply nuclear fuel have failed to keep their words and were neither capable of guaranteeing to accomplish their commitments later, Iran has no reason to stop it uranium enrichment activities to provide necessary fuel for its nuclear power plants.
“It is a fact known in the world that talks which had started 20 years ago for setting up a committee to guarantee nuclear fuel supply, has not reached any conclusion yet,” argued the spokesman.
As for Iran’s peaceful nuclear activities even in the pre- revolution era, Qashqavi said even the former head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Agency had said in that time that neither the U.S., nor Germany and France had honored their previously agreed commitments to Iran.
“Uranium enrichment is an absolute right for Iran based on the Non-Proliferation Treaty and Tehran would pursue this right to the end,” he added.
No security concern over nuclear program
Elsewhere in his address he said that Iranian nuclear program has no security concern so that the resolution passed by the 5+1 group is illegal
He dismissed Resolution 1835 passed the 5+1 group as non-technical and a political agenda misusing the Security Council as a leverage for the United States foreign policy.
“The national nuclear program poses no threat to security of the international community to compel the UN Security Council to issue resolution against it,” he said.
Iran continues its constructive cooperation with IAEA within a defined framework, he said.
Qashqavi said that Iran has posed a number of questions and expected Foreign Policy chief of the European Union Javier Solana who represents the 5+1 group to help remove the ambiguities.
“Issuance of politically-motivated resolutions does not help remove ambiguities but they should instead adopt a technical and legal approach to deal with the issue,” Qashqavi said.
On recent claims made by Israel that Russia halted sales of advanced S-300 anti-aircraft missiles to Iran, he said “Iran’s defense equipment are totally indigenous and we never hesitate to strengthen this capability.”
Iran has had a very good defense cooperation with Russia, he added.
On the upcoming visit of Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani to Iraq, he said the visit is to help broaden parliamentary cooperation between Iran and Iraq.
Iran denies opening of AIC office in Tehran
He denied reports that Tehran has permitted a U.S.-based group to set up an office in Iran.
“The issue has absolutely not been raised so far and will not be raised in the future,” he added.
Western media reported last Thursday that the U.S.-based American- Iranian Council was given a license to establish an office in Iran by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.
Tehran has never given a permission to set up the AIC office in Iran, he noted.
Iranians cautioned about traveling to Iraq, Afghanistan
On traveling to Iraq and Afghanistan he cautioned Iranians, due to the critical health conditions in the two countries that now are facing cholera epidemic.
Qashqavi, proposed Iranian citizens to take into account because of health considerations if they are to visit Iraq and Afghanistan as the two western and eastern neighboring states of Iran were hit by the fatal epidemic.
He said that the occupation troops were responsible for spread of the “heat rending disease” in the two war-ravaged countries.
“Occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan by foreign forces has neither helped the two nations improve their living conditions nor their health situation,” said the spokesman.
Qashqavi added that cholera epidemic in Iraq and Afghanistan was “another negative impact of the presence of occupation forces” in the two countries.
He voiced Tehran’s readiness as a neighboring and friendly country to Baghdad and Kabul to share its valuable experiences with the governments of Iraq and Afghanistan to improve the health condition of the two nations.