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9/14/05

Burns: US favors peaceful solution to Iran's nuclear program

London, Sept 14, IRNA-US State Department Under-Secretary Nicholas Burns insisted Wednesday that Washington was fully supportive of EU efforts to negotiate a long term arrangements on Iran's nuclear program.

"The US favors a peaceful diplomatic solution to the problem of Iran trying to acquire nuclear weapons," Burns told BBC Radio Four's Today program.

"Since March, we have put our full weight behind the EU negotiating efforts, led by Britain, Germany and France, to try to convince Iran not to engage in any part of the nuclear fuel process," he said.

The US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, which is the Department of State's third ranking official, argued that there was international concern about Iran's program, even though it is being monitored by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

"It is a given around the world that the Iranians are likely conducting nuclear weapons research without telling the rest of the world, so there is a lack of trust on part of most countries concerning Iran," Burns said.

But he added that the US was "very hopeful the European Union will be able to convince the Iranians to come back to these talks," referring to the breakdown in negotiations that was followed by Iran partly resuming its fuel cycle activities.

Iran, the former member of President Bill Clinton's National Security Council said, was a "powerful county and important country, but a country that has put itself outside the international mainstream." "So we very much support what Britain and the other countries are doing - to try to bring Iran back to its senses and to negotiations," he said.

In his current post, Burns is responsible for overseeing US policy in each region of the world, serving as the senior career diplomat at the Department.

Previously he was American Ambassador to Nato, when he headed the combined State-Defense Department Mission during both the wars against Iraq and Afghanistan.

... Payvand News - 9/14/05 ... --



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