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Foreign Minister hopes IAEA would meet Iran's reasonable expectations

Seoul, May 31, IRNA -- Visiting Foreign Minister Dr. Kamal Kharrazi expressed here his optimism that Iran's full cooperation and consultations with the IAEA would merit realization of its meritrious expectation for normalization of ties with the nuclear watchdog.

AT a meeting with South Korea Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon here Monday, Kharrazi gave a brief overview of Iran's continuing and transparent cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency.

"Iran, with the honest and full cooperation it has accorded the IAEA, hopes its Board of Governors, in its next meeting, will meet the country's reasonable expectation arising out of its thorough and constructive interaction with the agency and hopes that its nuclear file will be closed without political strains and purely on legal and technical issues," the Iranian minister said.

Alluding to various ways of bolstering current bilateral relations between the two countries, he added, "Tehran sees various potentials for expansion of cooperation between the two countries beyond their current level."

To elucidate on his point, he said the two countries' state and private sectors can "launch serious measures to increase current cooperation by setting up joint ventures, balancing their trade exchanges and opening new transactions through trade consultations and exchange of visits."

"Iranian officials are ready to start negotiations with South Korea toward an economic accord that will avoid double taxation as well as encourage economic and trade exchanges," he added.

Referring to the latest developments in Iraq, he said he believes the Iraqi crisis can only be settled "through a change in approach of the occupiers and respect for the culture and values of the Iraqi nation."

The South Korean minister, for his part, highlighted the importance his country attaches to relations with Iran, and said promoting political and economic ties with the Islamic Republic is a policy being pursued by the government.

Foreign Minister Ban voiced Korea's determination to increase its investments in the fields of energy, joint ventures and promotion of trade exchanges between the two countries and, toward this end, he said it is following up implementation of agreements on investment approved by the two parliaments as well as continuing talks to end barriers to mutual trade such as double taxation with Iranian officials.

He also briefed his Iranian counterpart on talks between South and North Korea and the reasons for sending forces to the US-led coalition force in Iraq, and stressed that negotiations with Pyong Yang have led to further stability and security in the region.

He said Korean forces are in Iraq to assist the Iraqi people and accelerate the transfer of power to its people.

Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi, heading a high-ranking delegation, arrived in South Korea on Monday for a two-day official visit.

Kharrazi's visit is taking place at the invitation of his South Korean counterpart.

... Payvand News - 5/31/04 ... --

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