Monday, September 06, 2004

Hassan Rowhani in talks with Dutch Prime Minister Jan-Peter Balkenende

Description of Selected News: "Tehran urges strategic cooperation between Iran and EU


TEHRAN (MNA) -- Iran’s top nuclear negotiator and the secretary of the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Hassan Rowhani told the Dutch Prime Minister Jan-Peter Balkenende on Monday that Iran has lived up to all its commitments toward the Tehran Declaration and expects Europe to do the same.

Rowhani said the dealings between Iran and the European Union has reached a very sensitive stage adding that the full implementation of the Tehran Declaration by the European Union is the key to development of ties.

Tehran and the EU big three (Germany, France and Britain) struck a deal on October 21 last year paving the way for nuclear cooperation between Iran and the European Union. In this deal Iran agreed to sign the additional protocol to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and suspend its nuclear enrichment program and the EU in return agreed to recognize Iran’s right to a peaceful use of nuclear energy and help transfer nuclear technology to Iran.

Iran is quite prepared to implement all its nuclear activities under the NPT and the additional protocol and in return expects Europe to recognize the Islamic Republic’s inalienable right to peaceful use of nuclear energy, and to cooperate with Iran in this regard without any limits.

On the new round of talks between Iran and the EU trio, Rowhani said negotiations for achieving long-term cooperation has been started and Iran is ready to give new assurances to the international community about the peaceful nature of its nuclear program.

Iran plans to build nuclear plants in order to generate 7000 megawatts of electricity and for this purpose Iran and the EU can promote long-term cooperation in the field of high technology, the top Iranian nuclear negotiator noted.

Turning to the fight against terrorism, he said many Iranian security forces have been killed in the fight against terrorists.

Rowhani added that some of the arrested terrorists have been expelled to their own countries and some of them have been held and put on trial in Iran.

Pointing to the security in the Persian Gulf, Central Asia and the Middle East the Iranian security official said Iran is ready to cooperate with Europe in keeping peace and security in the region.

Balkenende, for his part, touched on EU-Iran relations and said EU should make use of every opportunity to develop its ties with Tehran.

Referring to the points where Iran and EU differ, Balkenende said EU welcomes cooperation between Iran and the United Nations nuclear watchdog and calls for more cooperation in this regard.

He also pointed to strategic cooperation between Iran and the EU for the fight against terrorism and the deployment of weapons of mass destruction. He also noted that a global strategy is needed for a comprehensive fight against the scourge of terrorism and the spread of WMD.

The Dutch prime minister also stressed the need to promote cooperation between the 25-memebr bloc and Iran for maintaining stability and security in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Persian Gulf, the Middle East and Central Asia.

The Netherlands currently holds the European Union presidency."

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