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EU High Representative for the CFSP Javier Solana, Remarks at Press Conference in Tehran, 14 June 2008

Summary of remarks by Javier SOLANA, EU High Representative for the CFSP, at the press conference in Tehran, Council of the European Union, 14 June 2008.

Javier SOLANA, EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), visited Iran from Friday, 13 to Saturday, 14 June 2008. He had meetings with the Iranian Foreign Minister, Manouchehr MOTTAKI, and the Secretary of the Iranian Supreme National Security Council, Saeed JALILI. On Saturday, the High Representative presented to Iran a proposal seeking to resolve the concerns that Iran's nuclear programme raises with the international community and to enter into a normalised relationship with Iran in all areas. The following is an edited summary of Mr SOLANA's remarks at his press conference in Tehran after he presented the proposals to the Iranian authorities:

"I am here in my capacity as the High Representative of the EU and I am also speaking on behalf of China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States. I am in Tehran to present a generous and comprehensive offer which we would like to be the starting point for real negotiations. I have brought with me a letter signed by the ministers of the six countries and myself.

Iran is a very important country, a great country with an ancient civilisation and culture. It is a country with a very significant role to play in the international community. This is why we want to negotiate with Iran. Let me clear about what the international community is offering: we are offering a proposal which we would like to be the starting point for real negotiations. The proposal would allow Iran to develop a modern nuclear energy programme. The proposal is full of opportunities for Iran to modernise and for both sides to restart their relationship.

The main lines of what we are offering Iran are the following: we are ready to fully recognise Iran's rights to have nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. We are ready to cooperate with Iran in the development of a modern nuclear energy programme based on the most modern generation of light-water reactors. We offer legally binding fuel supply guarantees, or to work together in designing a system to provide these fuel guarantees. We can help Iran with the management of nuclear waste. We can support Iranian research and development, including in the nuclear field once confidence is being restored. If we can settle the core issue, the nuclear programme, the door would be open to cooperation in many other areas.

Let me mention just a few of them: in the political arena, we are ready to cooperate in building up regional security in the wider Middle East region, in cooperation with many other partners. In the economic field, we can work on trade liberalization. There is scope for a longterm partnership on energy. We can work on projects in the field of the environment, infrastructure, transport and communications, science and technology and high-tech. We can support the modernisation of agriculture, we can work together on education and on emergency response. We could also look at civil aviation, and this is a very important area for the Iranian authorities, and people-to-people exchanges.

The fact that I am here today shows how seriously we regard this problem and how serious we are in our efforts to find a negotiated solution. A negotiated solution would enable Iran to fulfil its potential as a respected member of the international community.

What is at the heart of all our endeavours is the need to restore confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear programme. The best way to do that is to provide objective guarantees of the peaceful nature of its programme.

There is a potential win-win here: Iran gets cooperation from the international community and the international community gets the reassurance it needs that Iran's nuclear programme is of a peaceful nature. In order to move forward, the Iranian leadership knows very well the condition. Cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency has to be total and the UN Security Council resolutions have to be implemented in full.

As we have said many times before, we want to have a fully normalised relationship with Iran in the nuclear field and in all other areas. Iran is a great country. We want Iran to play its rightful role in the world. Starting negotiations on the basis of the proposal that we presented today will lead to this."

Source: Council of the European Union, www.consilium.europa.eu.

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