Statement by Italian Foreign Minister Gianfranco Fini

January 11, 2006

"Iran's determination to pursue a nuclear programme despite foregoing agreements is cause for continuous and profound concern.

Teheran's behaviour continues to give the impression that it wishes to challenge the international community and to reject the highly constructive role that it could potentially play in the Middle East.

If Iran's intention is to divide us it will not succeed, and no one will be willing to negotiate with them in the absence of certain precise assurances.

We are entering a new phase of relations with Teheran and the international community will surely be able to find the most effective means of confronting it. The hope is that good sense prevails on Iran's part."