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Iran envoy hits at Europe over nuclear deal (FT-FINANICAL TIMES) By Najmeh Bozorgmehr in Tehran, IRAN 02/03/05)Source: http://news.ft.com/cms/s/81316bce-755e-11d9-9608-00000e2511c8.html FT} FINANCIAL TIMES FT} FINANCIAL TIMES Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
Iran´s top nuclear negotiator, Hossein Mousavian, expressed frustration on Wednesday that European countries had not delivered on incentives promised last year in return for Iran´s pledge to suspend nuclear enrichment.

"We have not yet seen considerable progress in our co-operation and no incentives in political, security, technological, economic and nuclear fields," Mr Mousavian, secretary of the foreign policy committee of the Supreme National Security Council, told the Financial Times. "Now it is time to deliver something to Iranian public opinion and nation."

But he added that Iran remained committed to the Paris agreement signed in November with Britain, France and Germany, agreeing to a suspension that would last until talks conclude. "We are determined to carry out the Paris agreement and are thoroughly committed to it," he said, adding that he expected the talks with the European Union countries to end by June.

The November deal paved the way for a broad dialogue between the three EU countries and Iran on issues ranging from security to trade co-operation. Britain, France and Germany would like the talks to lead to a permanent halt of enrichment, which Iran has rejected.

Tehran, meanwhile, is concerned that the three countries will drag out the talks to prolong the suspension artificially.

"The talks so far do not indicate serious determination of Europeans to achieve any results quickly," Mr Mousavian insisted in the FT interview. The EU maintains that a complicated trade and co-operation agreement it resumed negotiating with Tehran in January will take months, not weeks, to conclude.

"The talks so far do not indicate serious determination of Europeans to achieve any results quickly," Mr Mousavian insisted in the FT interview. The EU maintains that a complicated trade and co-operation agreement it resumed negotiating with Tehran in January will take months, not weeks, to conclude.

Parallel talks on security, the economy and technology are also taking time, with a technical meeting scheduled for this month and a ministerial-level meeting likely next month.

A spokeswoman for Javier Solana, the EU´s foreign policy representative, said on Wednesday: "The goal of the EU in the nuclear debate with Iran is to achieve objective guarantees of the peaceful nature of their nuclear programme. The issue is not pace but substance."

Mr Mousavian´s comments follow recent warnings from Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran´s supreme leader, who said, referring to the talks with the Europeans, that "the existing trend would change" if the EU failed to take the talks "seriously".

The US and Israel insist that Iran´s uranium enrichment programme is a regional threat that should be halted. The European governments are also concerned about Iran´s nuclear ambitions but are trying to find a diplomatic solution to the tensions.

According to an internal briefing note, leaked last week to news agencies, the European countries are insisting on the dismantling of the most sensitive part of Iran´s nuclear programme as part of a permanent accord with Tehran. Mr Mousavian, however, said that such a demand had not been conveyed in talks with the EU.

Mr Mousavian suggested that Iran was growing suspicious of EU intentions and of possible co-ordination of policy with the US. He said the threat of a US or Israeli military attack against Iranian sites was not taken seriously by Iran, describing it instead as part of the "west´s carrot and stick policy".

If the US and Europe were co-ordinating policy on Iran in this way, however, "then we would have a crisis of trust with Europe", he said.

At the same time, Mr Mousavian said Iran would not object to the US joining the talks with the three EU countries. Iran and the US, he said, should "finally put aside their hostilities and decrease tensions", though he conceded that the prospects of a thaw in relations were "not good". Additional reporting by Dan Dombey in Brussels (© Copyright The Financial Times Ltd 2005. 02/03/05)


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