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6/27/05

EU wants to build deeper ties with Iran, European Commission

Brussels, June 27, IRNA-The European Commission, the European Union's executive arm, stressed Monday that the EU will continue its engagement and dialogue with the Islamic Republic.

"Our ambition remains to build a deeper relationship with Iran and see it regain its place in the international community. We hope that Iran itself will show that those are its goals," Commission spokesperson for external relations, Emma Udwin, told a news conference in Brussels Monday noon.

"We continue to stand ready to pursue the trade and cooperation agreement negotiations scheduled for mid-July, but our priorities have not changed," she said.

Udwin noted four priorities including WMD issue, terrorism, human rights and the situation in the Middle East.

"Those remain our priorities in our dealing with Iran and that isn't changed changed by this change of personnel," she said.

Asked to comment on the first press conference of the president-elect Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Sunday, that Iran does not care about ties with the US, Emma replied, "we take note of what he had to say about the willingness to continue with the nuclear talks." "I think what we have to do is to watch what Iran does not just listen to what the new president has said."

"We will concentrate on our relationship between Europe and Iran and hope that Iran will take good choices, make good decisions for its own future to involve in engagement with the international community," she said.

"We are going to judge any president on his results and actions .

On our side we are going to try and continue this dialogue and stress the importance of human rights. We will do that with any government in Iran. I don't see that it is useful or fair to try and predict in advance today what the outcome would be."

Replying to a question on the elections itself, the spokeswoman said the EU didn't have observers on the ground.

"It is clear that if you look at the procedures under the Guardian Council the vetting procedure prevented a large number of candidates from standing in the elections which therefore took place under a number of constraints."

"There have been a number of voting allegations of irregularities. That is a serious matter and we believe that those complaints should be looked into swiftly and transparently," she said

... Payvand News - 6/27/05 ... --



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