Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier Comments on Ongoing Negotiations With iran During an Interview with Der Spiegel
GERMAN MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
August 4, 2008
Your willingness to cooperate with Iran must be sorely tested by now. Although Tehran has proposed new rounds of talks on several occasions to resolve the dispute over its nuclear program, it hasn't budged an inch.
I can understand your impatience and I share it. We are offering Iran comprehensive cooperation. Even the Americans have made a visible effort and sent a negotiator for the first time. All of this is intended to indicate that we really are determined to find a diplomatic solution. I therefore appeal once more to the Iranian side to stop playing for time, but to give us a usable answer to our offers and to stop dallying!
What do you want to see happening in concrete terms?
I expect a clear signal for a mutual freeze – we would then freeze our sanction efforts and Iran the development of its centrifuges. That's a clear offer which deserves a clear answer, and soon.
So now it's time to act?
It would be negligent not to seize this opportunity.
And what if the Iranians carry on dallying? Will that be the end of the diplomatic efforts?
We would have to increase the pressure with sanctions. No-one wants to keep going in that direction. But it is Tehran that holds the key.
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Minister, thank you for your time.