vendredi, septembre 16, 2005

EU Foreign Ministers meet Iran president

LONDON, September 16 (IranMania) - Three European Foreign Ministers held their first talks with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ahead of his announcement of new proposals for averting a showdown over Tehran's nuclear issue.

"It was a useful meeting," said British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, who met the new Iranian leader with his French and German counterparts, Philippe Douste-Blazy and Joschka Fischer, according to AFP.

"We now look forward to the speech," said Straw, referring to Ahmadinejad's scheduled address to the UN General Assembly on Saturday when he is expected to unveil some fresh initiatives in the nuclear dispute.

"We're going to listen carefully to what the president has to say and we'll take it from there," Straw said.

The speech could have a significant impact on Monday's meeting in Vienna of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which will discuss possible UN action against Iran for resuming suspected nuclear weapons activities.

Iran agreed to suspend sensitive uranium enrichment activities last November under the so-called Paris agreement. But Tehran resumed its fuel-cycle work in August after angrily rejecting the latest EU-3 offer.

As a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Iran insists it is allowed to make nuclear fuel.

European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana, who also attended the brief meeting with Ahmadinejad, said there were no actual negotiations.

"We have only prepared the ground," Solana said. "If it is possible to continue? .... It's not clear yet. We have to wait until the speech."

Both Solana and Straw stressed that the EU-3 strategy had never been geared toward dragging Iran before the UN Security Council.

"Our aim all the way through when we started these negotiations was to keep the matter out of the Security Council," Straw said.

Fischer said the overriding concern was to prevent the nuclearisation of the Middle East, which he said would have "very negative consequences" at both the regional and global level.

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