Belarus President Lukashenko to visit Iran soon - minister

TEHRAN, October 23 (RIA Novosti) - The president of Belarus will soon pay an official visit to Iran, the Belarusian foreign minister said Monday.

"I hope Alexander Lukashenko's visit to Tehran will take place in the coming weeks," said Sergei Martynov, who is on a working visit to Iran October 22-23.

Martynov said the countries will sign a number of agreements during Lukashenko's visit, including on legal assistance, and cooperation between their emergency situations ministries, information services and television channels.

The minister said his visit has been very productive, having met once with the president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, several times with the Iranian foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, as well as with the Iranian trade minister.

Iran has been at the center of an international dispute over the past year over its nuclear ambitions. Some countries suspect the Islamic republic is pursuing nuclear weapons, but Tehran has consistently denied the claims, saying it needs nuclear energy for civilian purposes.

Martynov said Belarus never doubted the peaceful nature of the Iranian nuclear program.

"We have no reasons to doubt the peaceful nature of the Iranian nuclear program," Martynov said, adding that Iran has always been a strong supporter of the Non-Proliferation Treaty.