EU foreign policy chief arrives in Iran

June 14th, 2008 - 3:23 am ICT by IANS  

Tehran, June 14 (DPA) European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana arrived Friday night in Tehran to hand to Iran an updated package of incentives by the five veto powers plus Germany (5+1) to persuade the Islamic state to follow international demands and stop uranium enrichment. Solana said in a statement prior to his departure that he would be making “a generous and comprehensive offer” to Iran showing the desire of the EU and 5+1 “to develop a constructive and cooperative relationship with Iran in the nuclear field and in many other areas.”

The EU foreign policy chief is scheduled to deliver the package to Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki Saturday morning and afterwards meet with chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili.

Solana will be accompanied by the foreign ministry political directors of the United Nations Security Council member states of Britain, China, France, Russia as well as German foreign ministry official Volker Stanzel.

There will be no representative from the US due to the political estrangement and hostilities between the countries for almost three decades.

The contents of the Western package are to be made public right after being handed to Mottaki. Solana and the five diplomats plan a press conference Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning at the residence of the German ambassador to Tehran.

Solana said he planned to propose establishing closer political and economic ties and helping Iran develop a modern nuclear energy programme.

“I am convinced that it is possible to change the present state of affairs. Our proposal is good for the future of Iran and for the future of the Iranian people,” Solana said.

The trip by the EU’s high representative is the latest in a series of attempts by the West to persuade Iran to suspend its uranium enrichment programme.

On Tuesday, EU top officials and US President George W Bush threatened to impose further sanctions on Iran if it continued to refuse to suspend its nuclear programme.

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