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Bildt: EU faces 'difficult choices' on Iran

AFP/The Local · 16 Jul 2009, 07:17

Published: 16 Jul 2009 07:17 GMT+02:00

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In remarks to members of the European parliament, Bildt spoke of "difficult choices and judgements that we have to do in the next, not only weeks, but months, but not very much longer than that."

His comments came after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that Washington was committed to talks with Iran "but the time for action is now.

The opportunity will not remain open indefinitely."

International talks on curbing the Islamic republic's nuclear ambitions have ground to a halt since the contested June 12 presidential elections, which sparked riots leading to the deaths of at least 20 people and mass arrests.

Major world powers, led by EU nations, have been trying to convince Iran to halt uranium enrichment in exchange for political and economic incentives.

Enrichment is a process for powering a nuclear reactor, but at highly refined levels the uranium can be used to build the core of an atom bomb, which many countries fear the Islamic Republic is trying to covertly develop.

Iran, which is labouring under three sets of UN sanctions, insists it is only developing a civilian programme and has refused to sit down at the negotiating table if it has to suspend enrichment before the talks begin.

Bildt said he had seen press reports that Tehran might be ready to respond soon.

"We look forward to looking at that," he said, but added: "Whether that will be the beginning of a constructive process on this particular issue, that is too early to judge."

He insisted that dialogue was the only solution.

"There may be others who believe there are far more simple solutions to that. I don't think there's any solutions if we don't engage in a true diplomatic dialogue."

Story continues below…

In Tehran on July 11, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki told reporters: "we are going to present our package which will be a basis to negotiate all regional and international issues."

He did not elaborate, and no official contact has been made with the EU.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:49 July 16, 2009 by unkle strunkle
"BERLIN - Germany's BND foreign intelligence agency believes Iran is capable of producing and testing an atomic bomb within six months, much sooner than most analysts estimate, according to a report in German weekly Stern."

13:33 July 16, 2009 by Iraniboy
So far 3 UNSC sanctions on Iran based on SUSPECIOUS of building nuclear weapon! For God's sake, has any other country been sanction for being suspecioun of something? You're guilty untill it's proven!!

We have zillions of reports from inteligence agencies that Iran will build bomb before 2006,2008,..2115 but not a zeta evidence from Nuclear Agnecy that is currently watching Iran's activity!! Why should a country be sanction for something that it MAY do in future while there is no sanction for those who have already that sin?!!! Hypocrisy? Double Standards?
14:54 July 16, 2009 by svenskdod
The fact remains that Iran wants to sell its oil in EUROS, a sentiment that the US does not like very much. Being as all the oil in the world is sold in US dollars, this would seriously undermine the currency. Sadam did this back in 2001 and see where it got him. Right now America is building up public support in the form of (probably) unjustified reports of Iran's nuclear enrichment program. The short and curly of it is that if America goes to war with Iran it will be for the simple reason of protecting their economy. The Hippies in America who protest this kind of thing do not realise that the government is actually protecting their job security and way of life indirectly. People have to understand that wars have been fought for resources forever. This will never change, it is in our nature to destroy each other.
16:46 July 16, 2009 by Greg in Canada
Oil rich Iran claims that they are developing a nuclear generator for civilian power use. Yeah right.
21:41 July 16, 2009 by Uncle
First of all - the only proof that can be made of intentions to make a nuclear weapon, is nuclear weapon, since the way from a fully functioning civil nuclear facility, to a military one, is awfully short. Second, look how efficient was the UN with North Korea with their notes of protest. Third, this country calls for elimination of other countries. Fourth, El Baradei himself admitted that Iran is months from acquiring a nuclear weapon, according to "The Independent". Fifth, their acting and ex-politicians are wanted for murder in many European countries, as well as few South American ones. Yeah - they want a clean energy. That is the first priority... Wake, freaking up, and smell the reality...
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