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US should work with EU on Iran nuclear deal, says Clinton's aide

London, Jan 26, IRNA - Gary Samore, adviser on non-proliferation to US former President Bill Clinton believes that the Bush Administration should become actively involved with the European Union in its attempts on reaching a deal on Iran's nuclear programme.

"The US should make serious efforts to work with the EU," Samore said, but suggested that it should not yet become part of the negotiations with Iran on reaching a long-term agreement.

Speaking at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in London Wednesday, he said that it would be "counter- productive" for the US to be directly involved as it "was not yet ready" as there were internal reasons both in Washington and Tehran.

"The EU are really acting as mediators" in their attempts to reach a long-term deal on Iran's nuclear programme, Clinton's aide said. "Direct negotiations would be a real disaster," he warned.

Samore, who is now director of studies and a senior fellow for non-proliferation at IISS, was expressing his views on 'Prospects for Resolving the Iranian Nuclear Issue.'

He believed that military action by the US, which he said had been the subject of "overheated media speculation, was of "limited value" and would achieve "little international support."

With regard to using Israel as a proxy to attack Iran, Samore said that he "did not think Israel was very confident of doing it" and like the US, "did not think it was an attractive option."

His view was that the US had not really decided what its policy towards Iran was with so many different voices in Washington that varied between the pessimistic scenario that the EU negotiations were doomed to fail to the more optimistic of an effective deal being reached.

Samore said he also believed that Iran had yet to reach a final decision on pressing ahead with including fuel cycling in its nuclear programme and suggested that this may not be reached until after the country's presidential elections in June.

He also believed that what happens in Iraq may also affect Iran's future policy.

Unlike Israeli propaganda, Samore thought that Iran was at least "several years away" from having the technology to develop nuclear weapons. He also suggested that there was time ahead before negotiations on its programme become serious.

He indicated that one of the reasons that the US should be serious working with the EU was that it had "limited cards to play" in the negotiations with Iran like on security and the supply of equipment without the threat of sanctions.

"I don't think Bush is looking for another crisis," Samore said. "There was a lot of pressure inside the US to support EU efforts," he said, warning that if US intransigency was blamed for any breakdown it would be "disastrous" for Washington.

The above article comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs 2004

... Payvand News - 1/27/05 ... --

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