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Fischer on Iran: Step by step forward on basis of realism

Brussels, Dec 13, IRNA -- German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer said Monday that so long Iran's voluntary suspension of enrichment activities continues, the EU commitments also remain valid.

"Till the moment we are on the basis of the agreement (with Iran)," Fischer told reporters in Brussels as he arrived for a meeting of EU foreign ministers.

"You can see I am expressing with caution. It is totally clear that so long the voluntarily suspension of the uranium enrichment is valid, commitments made are also valid," said Fischer speaking in German.

"We have agreed on this basis and...on the basis of realism we must move forward step by step," he added.

The Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), Hassan Rowhani, is to launch negotiations for a long-term political and economic agreement with the European Union in Brussels Monday.

Rowhani is to meet the Foreign Ministers of Germany, France and Britain -- Joschka Fischer, Michel Barnier and Jack Straw respectively -- and EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana Monday afternoon in Brussels.

In the Paris Agreement of November 15 between the E3/Solana and the Islamic Republic, the EU has committed itself to closer economic and political cooperation with the Islamic Republic.

The Agreement was endorsed by the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in a meeting on November 29 following verification by the agency that Iran has voluntarily suspended its uranium enrichment activities.

On her part, Commissioner for External Relations, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, described recent developments in EU-Iran ties as "positive."

She told reporters that the commission has proposed to start negotiations with Iran on a trade and cooperation agreement in January and was waiting for a response from Tehran.

... Payvand News - 12/13/04 ... --

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