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EU against escalation of sanctions on Iran

Brussels, July 4, IRNA - A top European Union diplomat said Wednesday that the 27-member European bloc wants a political solution to Iran's nuclear issue and that the EU wants to prevent escalation of sanctions on Tehran.

"We want a political solution through dialogue and that is why my boss Solana continues to meet Larijani," said Robert Cooper advisor to EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana on external and politico-military affairs.

Speaking at a conference on Iran's nuclear issue at the European Parliament Cooper said "we would like to prevent escalations of sanctions." The sanctions, he noted, are a little more than symbolic.

"They are not trade sanctions" he said adding, "we continue to try to reduce escalation through dialogue.

On his part, Ali Asghar Soltanieh Iran's ambassador to the IAEA in Vienna, welcomed the initiative by the Greens in the EP to host the conference.

"We have to have a dialogue to understand each other," he said.

Addressing a large audience of diplomats, Members of European Parliament, analysts overview of Iran's thinkers and journalists, Soltanieh presented nuclear issue from the past till the present.

He reiterated the Islamic Republic's position that weapons of mass destruction have no place in Iran's nuclear doctrine saying that negotiations can be fruitful and help make progress, if it would be started without any preconditions.

"The people of the whole world should sand up against nuclear weapons. Iran does not need nuclear weapons. Now we have mastered nuclear technology and the international community has to cope with it," he said.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran continues to be ready to resolve the remaining issues with the Agency (IAEA)," said Soltanieh and underlined Tehran's readiness to negotiate with interested parties on mechanisms that could guarantee the non-diversion of Iran's peaceful activities in the future.

He said IAEA's deputy director general will be visiting Iran soon.

"This is a new big step by Iran. We are prepared to remove ambiguities," he said.

Other speakers ruled out the use of force to resolve Iran's nuclear issue and underlined that dialogue was the only way to resolve the problem.

Dany Cohn-Bendit, co-president of Greens, in his opening remarks said, "We are convinced that we need this kind of dialogue." He noted that the Green party is opposed to nuclear energy in general but no country can be prevented from peaceful use of nuclear technology by use of force.

German MEP Angelika Beer, chair of EP's delegation for relations with Iran said "there is a consensus that military force is absolutely out of the question." Abdelouahab Derbal, Arab League ambassador in Brussels, said the international community has not been able to prove that Iran has gone beyond its legitimate rights to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

He called on all countries in the region to renounce weapons of mass destruction and an end to policy of two sets of measures in dealing with the nuclear issue.

Derbal called on Israel to open all its nuclear sites to IAEA inspections.

... Payvand News - 7/4/07 ... --

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