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To: DoctorZIn
Iran impatient with alien forces

IRIB English News
Dec 8th 2003

Tehran, - Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi here Sunday condemned presence of extraterritorial forces in the Caspian Sea and stressed that the security of the region should be provided by the littoral states themselves.

Talking to foreign and domestic reporters, he said according to an agreement reached among five Caspian littoral states, military presence of any foreign power in the region is unacceptable.

Inviting extraterritorial forces to the Caspian region is against the consensus made by the littoral states, he said adding that such a move will damage the regional stability and will make the situation more complicated.

As to the visit to the region by the US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Asefi said the visit is in line with the US warmongering policy.

On Geneva initiative, proposed by some Palestinian groups and the Zionist regime, he said as long as the cabinet of Ariel Sharon is in power in the occupied Palestinian territory, any kind of peace plan will not succeed.

Referring to the 12th working meeting of the Caspian Sea littoral states to be held in Tehran from December 9-10, Asefi said the meeting will review negotiations on the Caspian legal convention.

The regional oil and gas, shipping, fisheries, environment, determination of marine borders and security issues will be among various topics to be discussed by the participants in the Caspian working meeting, the foreign ministry spokesman added.

Asked when Iran is going to sign the additional protocol to the non-proliferation treaty (NPT), he said Tehran has announced its readiness for cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

As to the case of the Iranian national Keyvan Tabesh, murdered by the Canadian police in Vancouver in July this year, Asefi said a delegation has been appointed by the Islamic Human Rights Commission to probe the case.

He further regretted that the Canadian officials have not been cooperative in the investigation into the case.

Turning to claims that the culprits behind the Istanbul explosions have fled via Iran, he stressed that the Iranian forces have full control over the borders.

If any document is provided by the Turkish officials in this respect, they will be studied carefully.
8 posted on 12/08/2003 12:35:53 AM PST by F14 Pilot
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To: DoctorZIn
Three Western tourists kidnapped in Iran

Mon 8 December

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Three Western tourists have been kidnapped in southeastern Iran, an Interior Ministry spokesman says.

He declined to give details of the circumstances of the kidnapping or the nationalities of those involved. He told Reuters on Monday the tourists were kidnapped in the Sistan-Baluchestan province close to Iran's borders with Pakistan and Afghanistan.

A spokeswoman for the German Foreign Ministry in Berlin said it was possible an unspecified number of Germans had been kidnapped but declined to provide further details.

"There are indications that Germans are possibly involved. I cannot add anything else," she said. "The foreign ministry has set up a crisis team."

Sistan-Baluchestan province is a major smuggling route used by well-armed drug runners moving heroin from Afghanistan to western Europe.

Kidnapping of Westerners is extremely rare in Iran, which has been trying to promote itself as a tourist destination in recent years.

Earlier on Monday, diplomats and government sources said at least two Westerners had been kidnapped.
11 posted on 12/08/2003 5:11:59 AM PST by F14 Pilot
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