Iranian Foreign Minister Sadeq Qotbzadeh said in the Greek Capital, Athens, on Wednesday (13 February) that he was touring three European capitals to open a dialogue on cooperation between them his country.
SV: Iranian Foreign Minister Sadeq Qotbzadeh coming down steps of aircraft and being greeted by Greek officials, iranian Embassy staff an "Solidarity with Iran Organisation"
GV: Foreign Minister walking on the tarmac surrounded by press and officials
SV: Foreign Minister walks into airport lounge and sits, PAN TO pressmen
SV ZOOM INTO CU: Foreign Minister speaking. (2 shots)
SV PAN FROM: Newsmen TO Foreign Minister leaving.
SPEECH ON FILM (TRANSCRIPT)
QOTZBADEH: "I would like to make a (indistinct) statement. The real purpose of my visit is to see my brothers and my sisters, the Greek people here. The people I've admired for their struggle and for their sense of independence. And it is the only purpose of this visit."
REPORTER: "And in Rome and in Paris... you are visiting your sisters and brothers there?"
QOTZBADEH: "That is a totally different subject. And as I said, since we are going to have the same thing tomorrow, at a press conference, I will answer all of your questions."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Iranian Foreign Minister Sadeq Qotbzadeh said in the Greek Capital, Athens, on Wednesday (13 February) that he was touring three European capitals to open a dialogue on cooperation between them his country. He told newsmen that he was stressing with Greece, France and Italy, that the sovereignty and independence of his country's revolutionary government would be unquestionable, and that it sought total independence from the two superpowers and those rallying around them. Mr. Qotbzadeh arrived in Athens on Tuesday (12 February), for a two-day visit.
SYNOPSIS: It was Mr. Qotzbadeh's first visit outside Iran since he became Foreign Minister three months ago. He was invited to Greece by a socialist organisation called "The Group of Solidarity With the Iranian Revolution", which includes members of the main opposition party in Greece - the Panbellenic Socialist Movement-and the Communist Party of the Interior.
He was met by officials of the Greek Foreign Ministry and the left-wing parties at the heavily guarded Athens airport.
Diplomatic sources in Athens said Greek Foreign Minister George Rallis would raise the question of the United States hostages during the talks with the Iranian Minister.
But Mr. Qotzbadeh, declined to discuss the issue on arrival.
On Wednesday (13 February), Mr. Qotzbadeh said an International Commission on the hostage issue should deal with demands of both sides, even if it took five or ten years.