Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini Interview with Corriere Della Sera (Excerpts)

February 21, 2009


Corriere della Sera


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Franco Venturini: Let's talk about Iran. Do you approve of Obama's openness? And what if Teheran were to accept, but not give up its nuclear programme?

Franco Frattini: I believe that Obama is doing the right thing and that it is necessary to try. Dialogue with Iran must, however, be part of an overall package; you can't have dialogue on one thing and not on another-I am thinking of Iran's role in the Middle East here. The aim is to make Iran a country that is accepted, respected and not feared. Teheran must understand that this is in its interests, since in this way its role as a regional power can be acknowledged.

Venturini: Forgive me, but what if Iran doesn't give up its nuclear programme?

Frattini: Then we will have to demand compliance with international monitoring rules at the least. Let's keep in mind that no one contests Iran's right to develop nuclear power for civilian purposes, and that the crisis arose from Teheran's rejection of a certain type of inspection.

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