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                                        Volume. 11644

Iran says it is optimistic about agreement with IAEA
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c_330_235_16777215_0___images_stories_edim_02_ep1(111).jpgTEHRAN – Iran is ready to sign a deal with the International Atomic Energy Agency if its rights enumerated in the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty are recognized and is optimistic that such an agreement will be signed, Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said on Tuesday.   
 
“We are ready for the conclusion of a comprehensive agreement between Iran and the agency, according to which our nuclear rights under the NPT are fully recognized,” Mehmanparast said during his regular press briefing, a day ahead of a new round of talks between Iran and the UN nuclear watchdog in Tehran.
 
Asked about the IAEA’s demand for access to the Parchin military site where it claims nuclear-related activities have been carried out, Mehmanparast said, “In the comprehensive agreement between the two sides, it must be clarified whether our nuclear rights for peaceful purposes will be recognized in return for the alleviation of their concerns.”   
 
“Ground is prepared for reaching a deal, and we are very optimistic,” he added. 
 
Referral of Iran’s nuclear dossier to UNSC would be ‘illegal’ 
 
Asked about the fact that AFP said on Monday Iran would face possible referral to the United Nations Security Council in early March unless Tehran and the IAEA reach a deal on enhanced inspections at Wednesday’s talks, Mehmanparast said, “The referral of Iran’s nuclear dossier to the Security Council would be “illegal” and “illogical.” 
 
“The framework of the negotiations between Iran the agency are clear, and it has been agreed that the talks be technical and legal, and the NPT is the basis of all negotiations,” he added.  
 
Mehmanparast also said, “Our activities are carried out based on our legitimate rights, and our rights should be recognized as a member of the agency, and we, as a member of the agency, are ready to clear up any ambiguity and concern.”  
 
Iran confirms it is converting uranium 
 
Asked about a Reuters story published on Monday that said Iran appeared to have resumed converting small amounts of its higher-grade enriched uranium into reactor fuel, the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman said, “The Tehran Research Reactor requires fuel for medical purposes and production of isotopes for cancer patients… The work is underway, and all the reports have been completely submitted to the International Atomic Energy Agency.” 
 
Western powers not determined to help resolve Iran nuclear issue 
 
Commenting on a new round of talks between Iran and the 5+1 group (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany) over Tehran’s nuclear program, which is scheduled to be held in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on February 26, Mehmanparast said, “The rights of independent countries must be recognized, and measures must be taken to clear up concerns and ambiguities… If we take a confidence-building measure but the other side does not take a measure commensurate with it, such an approach will get nowhere.” 
 
“We are seeking to restore the people’s rights, and we do not want anything beyond that or less than that.” 
 
Mehmanparast also said that the approach of the Western members of the 5+1 group toward Iran’s nuclear issue is “politicized”, adding, “That the talks do not produce results is due to the fact that the Western countries lack the political will necessary to resolve the issue.” 
 
West should take into account realities in Syria 
 
Mehmanparast was also asked to comment on a report published by the Washington Post on Sunday which quoted U.S. and Middle Eastern officials as saying that Iran and Hezbollah were building a network of militias inside Syria to preserve and protect their interests in the event that President Bashar al-Assad’s government falls or is forced to retreat from Damascus. 
 
Mehmanparast advised U.S. officials to take the realities on the ground in Syria into consideration and called on Western countries to halt the shipment of weapons to Syria and endorse Iran’s proposals to help end the conflict. 
 
Iran denies link to attack on MKO camp 
 
During the press conference, Mehmanparast also denied the claims that Iran was behind a rocket attack on a camp of the anti-Iranian terrorist Mojahedin Khalq Organization in Baghdad on Saturday in which at least five people were killed and more than 25 wounded. 
 
He said that the MKO had been taking certain measures to attract public sympathy and delay their relocation out of Iraq. 
 
Visa waiver offer to Egypt shows Iran’s will to expand ties 
 
Asked if Iran’s decision to unilaterally cancel visa requirements for Egyptian merchants and tourists is a “disrespect” to the Iranian people, Mehmanparast said, “No, in the world of politics this measure is not regarded as a disrespect, but rather it shows a country’s will and determination for the expansion of ties.” 
 
EP/PA

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