Monday, March 07, 2005

Iran News - "WTO accession not a pressing need for Iran"

Iran News - "WTO accession not a pressing need for Iran": ""WTO accession not a pressing need for Iran"

Monday, March 07, 2005 - ©2005

LONDON, March 7 (IranMania) - Iran's Commerce Minister Mohammad Shariatmadari said on Sunday that there is no pressing need to start talks on accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO), stressing that it is not in the best interest of Iran to join the organization at this juncture.

The official told ILNA that Iran’s WTO accession negotiations would depend much on the incentives the United States and European Union would offer to the Islamic Republic, stressing that the big powers are the main hurdles in the way of the country’s WTO entry. “When Iran applies for WTO entry, it does not mean that it is ready to join immediately,“ he said, adding that WTO talks could take several years before a concrete result is obtained.

The official further noted that consecutive rejections of Iran’s WTO applications are politically-motivated and that the US and EU must not demand anything from Iran in return for not vetoing its WTO application.

“We are not going to give anything in return for this,“ he said, adding that as the official in charge of following up issues related to Iran’s WTO entry, he would not believe in such kinds of exchanges.

World Trade Organization (WTO) rejected for the 22nd time Iran’s bid to start accession talks in the face of mounting pressure from the United States and growing laxity of the European Union.

The US vetoed Iran’s application as the European countries, which had pledged to back Iran’s bid, sat idle.

The rejection of Iran’s WTO application came amid the decision to start accession negotiations with some countries, which are much weaker than Iran in terms of economic growth and stability.

The US has backed applications by Iraq and Afghanistan as 11 Arab states have so far managed to join the organization. Iran has failed in its efforts to enter WTO since 1995."


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