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Monday, November 8, 2010
Iran ready to hold talks with 5+1 in Turkey
Tehran Times Political Desk
TEHRAN – Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki announced on Sunday that Iran has agreed to hold talks with 5+1 group (five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany) in Turkey.
“The agreement on the venue for the talks with 5+1 group is nearly finalized,” Mottaki told reporters in a joint press conference with Singaporean counterpart George Yeo in Tehran.
“We have informed our Turkish friends that we agree to hold talks in this country,” Mottaki explained.
The Singaporean foreign affairs minister also said the planned negotiations between Iran and the 5+1 group can produce positive results only if the other side recognizes Iran’s legal right to nuclear activities.
Iran and 5+1 group have expressed their readiness to resume talks in mid-November after a break of about one year.
Don’t take U.S. senator’s remarks ‘seriously’
In response to remarks by a U.S. senator who has called for a major attack on Iran, Mottaki said, “Don’t take his remarks seriously, he might have been joking.”
The minister suggested that such remarks are a result of confusion in the U.S. foreign policy as the country is entangled in a complicated situation. He added the recent congressional election in which Obama loyalists lost has added to the complication and put country in an “unstable” situation.
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham has said that the U.S. should not be satisfied with stopping Iran’s nuclear program but should also destroy its military capabilities and deliver a major blow to the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps.
“My view of military force would be not to just neutralize their nuclear program, which are probably dispersed and hardened, but to sink their navy, destroy their air force and deliver a decisive blow to the Revolutionary Guard… in other words, neuter that regime,” Press TV quoted Graham as saying at the Halifax International Security Forum on Saturday.
On the Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) conference in Tehran on Monday and Tuesday, Mottaki said he is hopeful the meeting can lay the groundwork for the establishment of an “Asian union”.
ACD members are trying to define an efficient mechanism to pave the way for the expansion of relations among the Asian nations and the main objective is the establishment of an Asian union, he said.
Singapore seeks ways to expand its ties with Iran
The Singaporean foreign affairs minister has said his country tries to find ways to expand ties with Iran while observing the UN-imposed sanctions on Iran.
Singapore has to abide by the UN sanctions resolution and can not violate it, but Singaporean officials are seeking to find legal ways to get around sanctions, Yeo said in a meeting with Mottaki on Sunday.
He emphasized that the sanctions can hinder the progress of a country, but there are always some ways to get around sanctions.
Yeo added sanctions can not halt Iran’s development.
The chief diplomat also said Singapore is honored to have Iran as its trade partner and friend.
Elsewhere in his remarks, he described Iran as a great country with an old and admirable history
Mottaki described Iran and Singapore as two major Asian nations with long history of friendly relations and called for maintenance and expansion of relations in economic, cultural, and political spheres.
Mottaki and Yeo also signed a memorandum of understanding based on which Iran and Singapore will set up a consultative political committee which will meet twice in a year to discuss issues concerning the two countries. -