Foreign Minister: Tehran open to dialogue with West on human rights
Iran's foreign minister said on Sunday that the Islamic Republic was open to dialogue with the West on the issue of human rights as long as religious values were taken into consideration.
"We have always said we should discuss human rights in order to have a better understanding," Kamal Kharazi said in the course of a joint news conference with visiting Swiss Foreign Minister Joseph Deiss.
During his visit, Deiss said he had called on Tehran to ratify the United Nations convention against torture and "recommended" the country find an alternative to its widespread use of the death penalty and other punishments such as flogging, AFP reported.
On his part, Deiss told reporters he was "satisfied with the progress" of Iran on human rights, and stressed that no preconditions on the issue had been set by Switzerland during its contacts with Tehran.
Kharazi, for his part, responded by explaining that the death penalty "exists in Iran as an Islamic rule", and emphasized clearly that it was also practiced widely in the United States.
Furthermore, the two ministers expressed their opposition to any unilateral US action against Iraq, with Deiss saying Tehran and Bern's stance regarding the crisis were "very close."
"Force should only be used after all other ways have been explored," he conveyed.
Meanwhile, in the economic sphere, the two are expected to sign an accord on eliminating double taxation in a bid to strengthen Swiss investment in the Islamic republic. (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)