BRUSSELS, 17 Dec. (IPS) Leaders of the 25- member European Union on Friday called on Iran to keep its nuclear installations shut against closer relations with Europe.
In a statement issued at the end of the EU’s Summit in Brussels, the heads of the member states expressed their readiness to intensify political and economic relations with Iran if Tehran, beside continuing suspension of enriching uranium, also take steps in fighting international terrorism and give more importance to the question of human rights.
The EU leaders insisted on the question of human rights as at least two Iranian women faces capital punishment by stoning or execution.
The EU welcomed the last resolution of the Vienna-based International nuclear watchdog and an agreement signed on 15 November in Paris between Tehran and the European Union’s three main powers in which Iran agreed to suspend all activities related to uranium enriching.
According to the draft statement, the 25 leaders assured Iran to sign a Trade and Cooperation Agreement on condition the Iran would pay more attention to human rights, fighting international terrorism and also help the Middle East Peace process.
A strong supporter of Arab and Palestinian radical groups like the Lebanese Hezballah or the Palestinian HAMAS and Islamic Jihad, the Islamic Republic also rejects the existence of Israel.
The EU leaders insisted on the question of human rights as Amnesty International and other human rights organisation said that at least two Iranian women, one of them a mentally retarded girl faces capital punishment by stoning or execution.
Along the worsening of human rights conditions, freedom of expression and the press is also experiencing a new wave of crackdown, with the Judiciary renewing with past methods of forcing dissident journalists, scholars and intellectuals to fabricated confessions, as seen by the case of 4 journalists who after being released from prison, they “confessed” to their “mistakes” etc.
According to the statement, the EU leaders "confirmed” the Union's readiness to explore ways to further develop political and economic cooperation with the Iran, “following action by Iran to address other areas of concern," the draft text said, adding that these were "the fight against terrorism, human rights and Iran's approach to the Middle East peace process".
Under an agreement reached in Paris last month between Britain, France and Germany, acting for the European Union, and Iran, Tehran agreed to suspend uranium enrichment in exchange for trade, technology and security rewards.
While Iran wants the talks with EU are limited in time, the Troika wants Iran to keep the suspension indefinitely.
However, while Iran wants the talks with EU are limited in time in order to resume enriching uranium, the Troika that speaks on behalf of the union wants Iran to keep the suspension indefinitely.
Following the Paris Agreement and the Vienna resolution, Iran and the Troika met in Brussels on 13 December at ministerial level, followed by the formation of three committees on nuclear energy, economy and security and bilateral relations, with Europe assuring Iran access to nuclear technology for civilian purposes in case Iran give credible assurances to the international community that it would not divert the device for making nuclear weapons.
In fact, while Washington and Tel Aviv suspects strongly the ruling Iranian ayatollahs of seeking nuclear powered electrical plants for military purposes, Iran insists that it has no such a plan.
“Since all our nuclear industries are locally made, our message to the world is that we are not after nuclear weapons, for if we were, we could have developed it already”, one senior Iranian nuclear negotiator told Iran Press Service recently”. ENDS IRAN EU 171204