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Iran's foreign minister said his country will give a "serious
Iran's foreign minister said his country will give a "serious and logical" response to a possible new UN resolution on sanctions against Tehran over its controversial nuclear program.

The five permanent UN Security Council members and Germany agreed at talks in Berlin on January 22 on a draft for new measures against Iran, strengthening two previous rounds of sanctions but falling short of the punitive steps proposed by Washington. The first consultations on the draft may be held later this week.

"The new UN Security Council resolution will arouse a serious and logical reaction from Iran," Manouchehr Mottaki told journalists, adding that there was no justification for new sanctions as Iran has met all non-proliferation requirements.
Western countries suspect Iran of using its nuclear program to build atomic weapons, while Iran says it needs nuclear power for electricity generation.

Mottaki urged the international community to wait until Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the UN's nuclear watchdog, presents his conclusions on Iran's nuclear program in March.

He also said that the UN Security Council must cancel its two previous resolutions against Iran if the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirms the peaceful nature of the nuclear research.


The Iranian foreign minister said Tehran was studying Washington's proposals on resuming negotiations on Iraq.

The United States has accused Iran of supporting Shiite insurgents in Iraq, allegations denied by Iran. Tehran blames instability in Iraq on the presence of U.S.-led forces.

"The Americans have handed over their response to our plan for restarting the negotiations," Mottaki said.

In mid-January, Tehran said it sent its proposals on Iraq talks to the U.S., which included plans to fight terrorist groups in Iraq and give Iraqi officials the authority to provide domestic security.

In summer 2007, Tehran and Washington held three rounds of negotiations on Iraqi security and agreed to set up a trilateral committee on reinforcing the country's security and defense capacity.


Mottaki also said Iran and Egypt were on the verge of resuming diplomatic relations, severed almost three decades ago after Cairo signed a peace deal with Israel, a country Tehran refuses to recognize.

"Tehran and Cairo are on the verge of reestablishing official political contacts," the Iranian minister said after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad held a telephone conversation with his Egyptian counterpart Hosni Mubarak to discuss the Middle East conflict and the political crisis in Lebanon.

Mottaki also said his special envoy was in Cairo to push for opening the Egyptian border to help the population in Gaza.

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