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EU, US still 'differ profoundly' on Iran, warns UK daily

London, Feb. 26, IRNA-Despite President George W Bush's diplomatic excursion this week, there are still a noticeable contrast between the EU and the US on foreign policy, including an inconsistent approach towards Iran, according to a leading British daily.

"Bush and his European allies agree that a nuclear-armed Iran is unacceptable. But they differ profoundly on means," the Financial Times warned in editorial Saturday.

It said that the US president "has given only guarded support to European diplomacy, while the Europeans have avoided spelling out the consequences of non-compliance."

Iran was listed along with the arms embargo against China as the "two most troubling issues" that remain to be resolved, but the paper believed the outcome on Iran was "more unpredictable." "The EU must show it is interested in results as well as process.

That is the difference between diplomacy and foreign policy," it warned.

In return, the editorial also suggested that "Bush should acknowledge that the EU's soft power has much broader application, and recognize the benefits of co-operating within a multilateral framework."

"He should also take into account that the EU - not only Nato - is playing an increasing role spreading stability beyond its borders," it said.

In calling for an EU response, the Financial Times said that these would be the "first steps toward a restoration of the transatlantic alliance and a genuine adult partnership."

It said it would be unfortunate if a "do-nothing attitude" was adopted by the Europeans. But it also cautioned that "a positive response would not mean pandering to the president's messianic vision of advancing freedom around the globe."

Berlin rules out US attack on Iran after Schroeder-Bush talks
Berlin, Feb 26, IRNA-The German government has for the time being ruled out a possible US military attack on Iran following recent talks between Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and American President George W. Bush, the online site of Der Spiegel news magazine reported Saturday.

It quoted Bush as saying during Wednesday's meeting with Schroeder that it was "absolutely ridiculous" to think he was preparing for military assault on Iran.

Although the American leader made a similar pledge in the case of Iraq during his previous visit to Germany in May 2002, only to attack Iraq nine months later, high-ranking German officials tend to trust Bush's statements this time.

"We don't see the danger that both sides are talking at cross purposes," said one official who took part in the Schroeder-Bush talks in Mainz.

Top officials in the Schroeder government are reportedly convinced that US troops are not capable of launching a major strike against Iran in the coming years.

"Seriously they (Americans) don't have a military option. At least not one whose political damage would be acceptable for Washington," one unidentified top German official said.

While Bush has supported Europe's diplomatic Iran initiative, he has not ruled out the military option.

... Payvand News - 2/26/05 ... --

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