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Schroeder says highest possible levels for Iran-US talks needed


TEHRAN, Feb. 21 (ISNA)-The former German Chancellor, Gerhard Schroeder, Saturday in Tehran urged resolving regional and international problems through a multilateral policy.

Schroeder and Iranian President Ahmadinejad

No single country is able to settle international challenges therefore the world must answer the problems in fields of energy, security, poverty and proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction by a joint attempt and it is in need of a multilateral policy, he said.

With Barack Obama as the US President the chance for reaching a multilateral policy is increased, he noted while adding "Obama has declared not only he offers a friendly hand to the world of Islam but also he extends his hand to the whole world only if relations are based on mutual respect, therefore I believe it is well worth for countries and particularly Iran to mull over the idea."

Schroeder and Iranian President Ahmadinejad

To resolve the discords between Iran and the United States "we need dialogue in the highest possible levels and we hope the opportunity would be enjoyed," said the former German Chancellor as describing "serious talks" as the only resolution for the regional crisis and also the nuclear energy issue.

Employing nuclear energy is the right of every country based on international regulations and in line with strengthening the WMD non-proliferation treaty, he added.

He then called for replacing "the policy of threat and reaction" with a "new beginning" by both parties in order to create a new approach for dialogue.

Saying the resolve of Israel and Palestine crisis and reaching the global security in the Middle East is very significant he noted the Holocaust is a historical reality and discussing about the unpleasant topic distracts attentions from peace in the region.

He then underlined Iran's role in settling regional crisis and continued the country is in the front line of campaign against narcotics produced in Afghanistan and "being in such a situation entails an important political advantage."

Iran and Europe could be ideal companions for each other in economic and cultural exchanges, Schroeder finally emphasized and added Iran could diversify the EU energy resources.

German daily links Schroeder's Iran trip to likely Steinmeier visit

Berlin, Feb 21, IRNA - The ongoing four-day visit by former German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder may pave the way for a trip by German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier to Tehran, the Berlin-based Der Tagesspiegel newspaper reported Saturday.

Although there are no immediate plans for Steinmeier to visit Iran, there could be a scenario whereby he would leave for Tehran on a short-notice as a result of Schroeder's trip to Iran, the daily added.

As the former chief of staff of the ex-chancellor, Steinmeier may benefit from Schroeder's high-profile Iran visit since he is also running as the top candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) for the chancellor's post in the next general elections in late September, the paper pointed out.

It added Steinmeier's likely visit to Iran could also be linked to the growing interest of German gas and oil companies to enter the Iranian energy market.

German energy firms have repeatedly expressed concern about losing Iran's lucrative energy market to fierce competitors from especially France, Spain, Italy, China, Russia, India and Malaysia.

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