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Iranian FM Kharrazi and Patten discuss EU-Iran ties

Brussels, May 3, IRNA -- Iranian Foreign Minister Dr Kamal Kharrazi met European Commissioner for external relations, Chris Patten, and discussed the course of EU-Iran relations.

The Iranian side explained at some length about the efforts Tehran has made to move the negotiations on a Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) with the EU forward, Patten's spokeswoman Emma Udwin told IRNA.

The TCA is in a 'pause' for over a year now, and the negotiations are expected 'to resume at some point, but we do no know when', noted Udwin.

She described today's talks as 'frank and straight-forward' but added that some disappointment was expressed by the Commission, especially on the way parliamentary elections were conducted in Iran and about the nuclear question.

"Iran is an extremely important country for us," stressed Udwin adding that there has been 'modest progress' made in human rights in Iran.

The spokeswoman added that Brussels is now waiting for the next IAEA report on Iran's nuclear program in June.

Fischer, Kharrazi to discuss Mideast conflict, Iraq crisis

Berlin, May 3, IRNA -- Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi will have talks with his German counterpart Joschka Fischer on Wednesday in Berlin, IRNA reported Monday. The meeting will be dominated by the Mideast conflict, the Iraq crisis as well as bilateral relations. Kharrazi embarked Monday on a three-nation European tour, taking him to Belgium, Germany and Denmark.

Kharrazi calls for ''serious dialogue'' with EU

Brussels, May 3, IRNA -- Iranian Foreign Minister Dr. Kamal Kharrazi urged Monday the EU to be engaged with Iran in a serious economic and political dialogue for ties to move forward.

Kharrazi told reporters that he held extensive talks on the EU-Iran dialogue with European Commission President Romano Prodi Monday morning.

"I told the President that if Europe is serious it will find Iran a good partner for Europe to work together to resolve different issues in that part of the world.

"Both sides have to be serious in economic, political cooperation otherwise Iran may not be interested to push for that,'' Kharrazi told reporters after the 60-minute meeting.

''This has to be a long process, a serious process. Otherwise it will be stopped or suspended with some excuses. We are not interested in such sort of dialogue,'' stressed Kharrazi.

Kharrazi and Prodi also discussed Iranian nuclear technology. He explained to Prodi about the ''very good'' cooperation between Iran and the three EU countries, UK, Germany and France, which has the support of the EU to move ahead and resolve the issue with IAEA.

Kharrazi called on the EU countries to adhere to their commitments as Iran is doing with its commitments and also with the IAEA.

''This is a trilateral project between Iran, IAEA and the EU. Success in this project is success of every one, failure in this project is failure for everyone.''

On Iraq, Kharrazi said said because of wrong US policies it is leading to a dangerous situation.

He told Prodi that what Americans have been doing with torture of Iraqis is outrageous.

"If Americans are in Iraq to promote democracy, is this the way to do it. This is outrageous. American policy has created hatred all over the Islamic world. We are at the stage of development of clashes of different cultures. The killings have to be stopped. That's why power in Iraq has to be transferred and occupiers have to leave the country,'' Kharrazi told reporters.

The Iranian foreign minister is to meet with the EU foreign Policy chief Javier Solana later.

... Payvand News - 5/3/04 ... --

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