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Azeri Official Says Iran's Threats To Attack Major Oil Pipeline"Not

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  • Azeri Official Says Iran's Threats To Attack Major Oil Pipeline"Not


    Azad Azarbaycan TV, Baku
    25 Apr 06

    [Presenter] Iran still believes that US special services are using
    Azerbaijani territories to carry out operations against Iran. Baku
    regards Iran's concerns as groundless and not serious.

    [Correspondent] If the USA uses Azerbaijani territory to carry
    out military action against Iran, Iran will launch strikes on the
    Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline [BTC] and destroy it, the secretary
    of the Iranian Supreme National Security Council, Ali Larijani, has
    said. Tehran is seriously worried that the US special services are
    currently using Azerbaijani territory against Iran, he said. Baku
    regards the statement by the Iranian security chief as not serious.

    [Novruz Mammadov, captioned as head of foreign relations department
    at the presidential administration] It will not attack and it cannot
    attack. There is no need to say more on this. These statements are
    not serious and do not need to be commented on.

    [Correspondent] Despite Iran's threats, Kazakhstan is also going to
    join the BTC. The president of the State Oil Company [of Azerbaijan;
    SOCAR], Rovnaq Abdullayev, has said that an intergovernmental
    commission is currently working on this issue and that this issue
    will also be on the agenda of [Azerbaijani President] Ilham Aliyev's
    Washington meetings. The SOCAR president also commented on threats
    to the BTC.

    [Rovnaq Abdullayev] There is no need for any additional talks on the
    BTC. The BTC is to be completed by the end of May and the first oil
    will be loaded on tankers.

    [Correspondent] Novruz Mammadov said that in any case, Azerbaijan's
    position is of great importance to Washington in the US policy on
    Iran. From this viewpoint, serious discussions will be held during
    Ilham Aliyev's trip to the USA. In return, Azerbaijan will ask
    Washington to demonstrate firmness in the Nagornyy Karabakh conflict.

    [Novruz Mammadov] The United States, as a mediator, should finally
    demonstrate that it is earnestly interested in the settlement of
    this conflict and wants to take important steps to that effect. We
    expect, and I believe, that the United States must take a step in
    that direction. This will bring great dividends to the USA's authority
    and will also finally establish stability and security in the region.

    [Passage omitted: communications projects to be discussed in
    Washington; list of US officials scheduled to meet Ilham Aliyev]