‘Robust’ sanctions should drive Iran back to talks, says EU

July 26th, 2010 - 10:19 pm ICT by IANS  

Brussels, July 26 (DPA) The “comprehensive and robust package” of sanctions approved Monday by the European Union (EU) should convince Iran to return to the negotiating table over its nuclear programme, the bloc’s foreign ministers said in a statement.
The EU’s top diplomat, Catherine Ashton, has been leading attempts to restart negotiations on behalf of the international community, who wants Iran’s nuclear programme halted until it can prove it is not trying to build a nuclear bomb.

Referring to Ashton’s offer of talks, EU ministers called “on Iran to seize this opportunity to allay the concerns of the international community about its nuclear programme and agree on a concrete date” for the resumption of negotiations.

Their statement also “reaffirms the validity of the June 2008 proposals” as the basis for talks, recognizing “Iran’s legitimate right to the peaceful uses of nuclear energy under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty”.

The 2008 offer would essentially see Iran stop all uranium enrichment activities, in return for guaranteed nuclear fuel supplies and nuclear technology from the international community, as well as increased economic aid.

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