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US must engage in creative diplomacy with Iran: UK's Sir Richard Dalton

London, Feb 5, IRNA - Former British Ambassador in Tehran, Sir Richard Dalton, Monday added his voice to the growing calls for the US administration to engage in finding a diplomatic solution to Iran's peaceful nuclear programme.

"It is vital that the US becomes fully involved in creative diplomacy," Dalton said on the launch of a new joint report by a diverse group of 15 UK organisations.

The former envoy said that after serving in Iran for the last three years, he realized that "patience and a commitment to diplomacy" offer the best chance of success.

The report, by British aid agencies, think-tanks, religious groups and others, including trade unions, calls on the UK and other states to work in a sustained effort to find a diplomatic solution to Iran's nuclear programme.

In particular, they are urged to push for face-to-face talks between Iran and the US, a compromise on the suspension of uranium enrichment to allow negotiations and for the development of last year's EU offer to include security guarantees.

Director of the Foreign Policy Centre (FPC), Stephen Twigg, said there was still plenty of time to talk and urged Prime Minister Tony Blair to "make sure our allies use it."

The report calls for all effort to be used to avoid an escalation in US rhetoric and its potential disastrous consequences for the world.

It suggested that the provoked crisis was jeopardizing the prospects of peace in the Middle East, severely undermining hopes of stability in Iraq, and would push developing countries into greater poverty and damage western economies if oil rose to 100 dollars.

Director of the Institute of Iranian Studies at St Andrews University in Scotland, Ali Ansari, said that decision-makers had not appreciated the full consequences of escalating the situation.

"The view held by some in Washington that all diplomatic and political options have been exhausted is a palpable nonsense that needs to be challenged," Ansari said.

Signatories to the report included such human rights and aid agencies as International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, Medact, Ockenden International, Amos Trust and People and Planet as well as Oxfam.

Contributors also included the Oxford Research Group, faith groups as The Christian Solidarity Worldwide, Muslim Council of Britain, Muslim Parliament, British Muslim Forum and Pax Christi and major UK trade unions, Amicus, GMB, PCS and Unison.

... Payvand News - 2/5/07 ... --

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