SearchEU leaders set terms for boosting ties with Iran - New Europe

EU leaders set terms for boosting ties with Iran - New Europe...
neurope.eu 11/05/2015 News

Keywords:#Berlin, #Britain, #Brussels, #EU, #Europe, #European_Union, #France, #Germany, #IAEA, #International_Atomic_Energy_Agency, #Iran, #Iranian, #Jack_Straw, #London, #Middle_East, #Nations, #Neurope.eu, #Nobel, #Nobel_Peace_Prize, #Nobel_Prize, #Paris, #Security_Council, #Shirin_Ebadi, #Tehran, #United_Nations, #United_Nations_Security_Council

Brussels to play role in final stage of Tehran’s nuclear dispute
European Union leaders last weekend said Iran must clear up doubts over its nuclear programme, boost human rights and take stronger action in the war on terrorism if it wanted upgraded ties with the 15-nation bloc. “The European Union (EU) remains ready to explore ways to develop a wider cooperation with Iran,” said European Union leaders in a draft statement at their summit in Brussels.
But the Union set clear terms, which would have to be met. “This can only be achieved through increased international confidence on the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme and improvements in the areas of human rights, fight against terrorism and Iran’s position in the Middle East peace process,” said EU leaders. Due to these concerns, the EU has delayed plans for a trade agreement with Iran.
In a separate move, the leaders warmly welcomed the awarding of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize to Iranian legal activist Shirin Ebadi. “The European Council, expressing its admiration for all those who are struggling for human rights, congratulates Mrs. Shirin Ebadi on the award for the Nobel Prize in recognition of her commitment to democracy and the defence of human rights in Iran,” said the declaration.
Moreover, the final stage of the dispute over Iran’s controversial nuclear activities is to be solved through the European Union, an Iranian spokesman proclaimed last Sunday. We have had two initiatives to settle the dispute, one through the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the other through European political channels,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Assefi told reporters in Tehran.
While the talks with the IAEA, including IAEA head Mohammad ElBaradei, were going through the final phase, the next step would be through European political channels, the spokesman said. The foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany have announced their readiness to cooperate with Iran to find the best and shortest way for final settlement of the dispute,” Assefi said.
The Foreign Ministers of Britain, France and Germany – Jack Straw, Dominique de Villepin and Joschka Fischer – are scheduled to come to Iran to push for the final settlement. The visit, however, is said to depend on the results of the ongoing final talks between Iran and three representatives of the IAEA in Tehran. London, Paris, Berlin or the Iranian spokesman could not confirm that the visit will definitely take place. “We are looking for a constructive dialogue with the EU and are optimistic about the outcome,” the spokesman said.
On the talks with IAEA head Mohammad ElBaradei, Assefi said that both sides had concerns, which they tried to settle during the talks. “We have a legitimate right to use peaceful nuclear energy and will not withdraw from this right,” Assefi said.
Observers believe that Iran wants assurances and assistance from Europe on not only the continuation of its nuclear projects but also uranium enrichment before signing the additional IAEA protocol authorising unannounced and unlimited inspection of nuclear sites.
ElBaradei voiced optimism after talks in Tehran, but at the same time said uranium enrichment, one of the main subjects of the dispute, remained unsolved and would be outside IAEA jurisdiction. Iran has less than two weeks to meet the IAEA ultimatum calling on Tehran to fully clarify its nuclear projects by October 31, or risk sanctions through the United Nations Security Council.
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