Iran calls Gaza open prison with 1.5 million inmates

TEHRAN, May 25 (MNA) -- Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hassan Qashqavi on Monday called the Gaza Strip an open prison with 1.5 inmates.

“Gaza with a population of one and a half million is a prison with no roof,” Qashqavi told a regular news briefing.

 

Describing the current situation in Gaza as a clear violation of human rights, Qashqavi urged the Islamic countries to make concerted efforts “to unlock the prison doors”.

 

On the reasons behind the cancelation of Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini’s trip to Tehran, the spokesman said the visit was “planned at the request of the Italian minister, and it was also canceled by the Italian side.”

 

Frattini planned to visit Iran last Wednesday to hold talks with Iranian officials including President Ahmadinejad to study ways to stabilize Afghanistan. However, Frattini cancelled the visit as the venue of the meeting changed because the president was on a tour of Semnan Province.

 

 “It’s usual for the Iranian president to hold a meeting with foreign officials and counterparts in a city other than the capital,” Qashqavi explained.

 

He added Ahmadinejad was touring Semnan Province at that time and it was up to the Italian minister to travel to Iran and meet the president or postpone his trip.

 

He also denied any relation between the cancelation of Frattini’s trip and the testing of Sejil-2 missile and Iran’s presidential election.

 

“Election is a domestic issue … missiles also account for our defense system,” the spokesman said, stressing that no country has the right to interfere in domestic affairs of other countries.  

 

He also referred to the Holy Prophet’ speech on Iranians’ capabilities to acquire knowledge, emphasizing that the Sejil-2 missile is completely designed by Iranian experts. 

 

“Such a domestic production is a manifestation of Iran’s defense power,” the spokesman noted. 

 

Sajil-2 missile was successfully test-fired on May 20.   

 

Russia invites Ahmadinejad to SCO meeting

 

Elsewhere in his remarks, Qashqavi confirmed that Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has invited President Ahmadinejad to attend Shanghai’s Cooperation Organization.

 

“Strengthening cooperation with the Shanghai members have always been of great importance to us,” Qashqavi said. “We are currently studying the invitation with a positive attitude.”   

 

Leaders from the Shanghai Cooperation Organization are to meet in Yekaterinburg, Russia, on Jun 15-16. China, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan are full members and Russia is the current rotating chair of the SCO. Iran has an observer status within the organization. 

 

SN/PA

MNA

END

News Code 33947

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