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Iran Eases Up Stance on US 'Greater Middle East' Initiative

Iran on Sunday eased up its previously rejecting stance on the US-sponsored "Greater Middle East" Initiative, but said the initiative would not solve problems of the region, the official IRNA News Agency reported. 

"Iran has maintained an open stance on the 'Greater Middle East' Initiative, but we believe it will not solve the problems of the region," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi was quoted as saying.


"Initiatives emanating from outside the region will only bring more problems. Most states in the Middle East region are against the initiative," Asefi said.


"The problems in the Middle East have their roots in the policies of the Zionist regime and the US biased support for this regime," he added.


Asefi also said Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi had discussed the initiative with leaders of Syria, Lebanon and Turkey during his recent visits to the three countries.


The "Greater Middle East" Initiative, proposed by the United States, is aimed at promoting the westernized democracy and economic reform in the region. Iran earlier rejected the initiative, terming it as "serving the US' own interests."


(Xinhua News Agency December 27, 2004)

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