Tuesday, June 28, 2005

No one can bar Iran from civilian use of nuclear energy: Schroeder

German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said on Sunday the European Union should put forward new proposals to resolve the dispute over Iran's nuclear program after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was elected president of the Islamic Republic.
The EU's "big three" -- Britain, France and Germany – are negotiating with Iran in the name of the 25-nation bloc to get assurances from Tehran that its nuclear program is only meant for civilian use. Iran insists the program is to meet soaring demand for electricity.
"The Europeans are well advised to put an offer on the table to move things forward for the next round of negotiations," Schroeder told reporters traveling with him on a visit to Washington.
"We cannot bar them from civilian use of nuclear energy, but we need credible guarantees that they do not build atomic bombs," he said. His comments came after Ahmadinejad was elected Iran's new president on Friday. Ahmadinejad said he would press ahead with Iran's nuclear program but would not abandon talks with the EU, although negotiations would be based on the Islamic Republic's "national interest."

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