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US Must First Prove its Good Intentions

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi says the United States must first prove its good intentions before any future talks with Iran. 

Salehi said Iranians have not achieved their independence easily, and arrogant powers must know that they will safeguard it with strength.

He added that the Americans must prove their goodwill and sincere intentions before any bilateral negotiations with Iran.

“They should not be aiming the gun, on the one hand, while on the other hand, claim to be ready for talks and such contradictions must be resolved.”

Salehi said the Islamic Republic is based on rationality and wisdom, and “we do not believe that international disputes can be resolved through the use of force.”

Iranian Foreign Minister also said the Islamic Republic of Iran and Russia are determined to expand their relations. 

“The political determination of the officials of Iran and Russia is based on the expansion of ties between the two countries, and this can be a good incentive for increasing bilateral cooperation,” the Iranian foreign minister stated.

“It goes without saying that the Russian Federation is one of the most important neighbors of Iran,” he said, adding, “Russia is an influential country in the international arena” and also has great influence in the Caucasus region.

“Tehran and Moscow can cooperate on many issues, and, for instance, the two countries’ interactions on Syria are going well.” 

He went on to say that trade between the two countries should be boosted, since it is currently below the potential.

Iran’s Foreign Minister also said the proposals made by Russia and the European Union about Tehran’s nuclear energy program will be discussed at the upcoming talks with the world powers of the P5+1 group. 

Salehi said, “Iran announced last year that it has drafted a five-point plan according to the proposals presented by Russia’s Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, in 2011.”

“Last month, however, the EU drafted and announced a separate three-stage plan,” Salehi added.

The Iranian foreign minister said both plans would be discussed during the upcoming meeting between Iran and the P5+1 (Britain, China, France, Russia, and the US plus Germany) in Kazakhstan on February 26 in order to find their common grounds.

Commenting on the US offer of talks with Iran, Salehi said Tehran pays no heed to the offer made by US Vice President Joe Biden at the present time but such negotiations (between Iran and the US) would be possible in the future if Washington abandoned its approach of pressure and threat toward Iran.

“Some people might think that the tone of US officials has changed and become more positive, but, from our point of view, it is still not enough,” the Iranian foreign minister added.

Iran's Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi also said the Islamic Republic and Argentina remain committed to a recent memorandum of understanding (MoU) they signed to investigate the 1994 deadly bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires.

“We signed a memorandum of understanding with Argentina to resolve the AMIA (Asociacion Mutual Israelita Argentina or the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association) case and both sides remain committed to its contents,” Salehi said.

“This MOU sets the base for our handling of the AMIA file,” he added.

“Nineteen years have passed since the AMIA incident. Over this time, huge efforts have been undertaken to close the dossier,” said Salehi.

He expressed hope that the MoU would help shed light on this old file.

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi also said Russia is Tehran’s first choice to participate in the construction of Iran’s second nuclear power plant.

“The Russian Federation is the first priority for the construction of the new nuclear power plant in Iran,” Salehi said.

“Under a 1992 Iran-Russia agreement, we have agreed to build nuclear power plants with a capacity of up to 5,000 megawatts in cooperation with Russia,” he said.

Salehi noted that the country’s current facility in Bushehr produces up to 1,000 megawatts of electricity, which leaves the country with 4,000 megawatts of nuclear-derived electricity to be generated by new power plants.

The minister noted that the Islamic Republic eyes to achieve a capacity of 20,000 megawatts before long.

Salehi also hailed the mutual understanding between Tehran and Moscow for the implementation of the 1992 agreement on cooperation in peaceful use of nuclear energy, expressing hope that the two sides would soon start the construction of the second unit of the Bushehr power plant.

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