With regard to its nuclear programme, Iran must meet its obligations to ensure transparency and engage in international cooperation. The regime must restore the confidence of the international community that the Iranian nuclear programme serves exclusively peaceful purposes. These were the issues discussed at the talks in Baghdad on 23 May between the E3+3, of which Germany is a member, and Iran.
Foreign Minister Westerwelle is calling for a diplomatic solution to the dispute surrounding the nuclear programme. He said that Iran must honour its obligations under a series of UN Security Council resolutions and as a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and a signatory of the Nonâ€‘Proliferation Treaty (NPT). These obligations exclude the use of nuclear energy for military purposes.
Ahead of the talks between the E3+3 - Germany, France, Britain, China, Russia and the US as well as the EU High Representative - and Iran on 23 May, Westerwelle issued the following statement:
Our task in Baghdad is to discuss concrete measures relating to Iran's nuclear programme which can help build confidence. The aim is to achieve progress not only in terms of atmosphere but also now with regard to substance.
Aim remains a diplomatic solution to the conflict
In early May 2012, Westerwelle again stressed that he believes in a diplomatic solution to the conflict surrounding the nuclear programme. He said that Germany would keep up the pressure on the Iranian regime. It would neither accept Iran playing for time nor talks for the sake of talks.
On 12 April 2012, the international community's talks with the Iranian regime were resumed after a long break. Following a meeting with Iran's chief negotiator Saeed Jalili, EU High Representative Catherine Ashton said that the talks had been constructive.
Together with its E3+3 partners, Germany is pursuing a "dual approach". On the one hand, Iran is being offered comprehensive cooperation should it choose to work together with the international community on its nuclear programme. However, as long as the Iranian regime does not cooperate, UN Security Council sanctions are aimed at persuading it to yield to the international community's demands.
Urgent call for Iran to cooperate with the IAEA
On 21 May 2012, the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Yukiya Amano, met Saeed Jalili for talks in Tehran on the IAEA's cooperation with Iran. The IAEA is especially keen for its inspectors to have unhindered access to Iran's nuclear plants.
Commenting on the talks between the IAEA and Iran, Foreign Minister Westerwelle issued the following statement on 22 May:
Iran's reliable and substantial cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency to resolve all outstanding issues concerning its nuclear programme would be a crucial and also overdue step in the right direction. We welcome and support all efforts by the IAEA to persuade Iran to implement its obligations under international law.