Iran determined to find negotiated solution to nuclear case: Italian FM

Iran Materials 22 June 2006 15:03 (UTC +04:00)

Italian Foreign Minister Massimo D'Alema said here Wednesday evening that Iran was determined to go back to the negotiating table to find a solution to the nuclear issue.

D'Alema, who is also his country's deputy prime minister, made the remarks during a meeting with his Iranian counterpart, Manouchehr Mottaki.

Highlighting Iran's key role in regional affairs, he said Rome was very much interested in solving the Iran nuclear issue through diplomatic means, reports Trend.

He voiced his country's willingness to further promote bilateral cooperation with the Islamic Republic of Iran.

"We believe that Iran's right to pursue peaceful nuclear energy is undeniable," the Italian FM reiterated.

Pointing to the great political, economic and cultural potentials for expansion of bilateral relations, he stressed that the two nations have always enjoyed friendly relations.

Rome is seeking an active role in resolving the Iran nuclear issue, he said, and described the new offer of the Group 5+1 to Iran as "important."

The offer refers to a package of incentives for Tehran by the US, Russia, China, France, Britain plus Germany (5+1 Group) to convince it to give up all its uranium enrichment-related activities and resume talks to settle the dispute over its nuclear program.

For his part, Mottaki said that negotiations to remove ambiguities in the incentives package and reach a consensus were very crucial.

He said that given the amicable ties enjoyed by Italy and Iran, Tehran would welcome involvement of Rome in solving its nuclear issue through negotiation.

Noting that the UN Security Council has not been involved in discussions on the Iran nuclear issue, he said this was a "positive step" and said Tehran was carefully studying Europe's package of incentives.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran will not back down on its legitimate rights," Mottaki emphasized.

Following the meeting, the Iranian foreign minister and his accompanying delegation attended a dinner banquet hosted by D'Alema after which they left for Geneva.

Mottaki arrived in Rome Wednesday afternoon for a day-long, official visit.

Mottaki's visit was his first to Italy since he assumed office.