Press Briefing with State Department Spokesperson Sean McCormack on EU-3 Negotiations with Iran (Excerpts)

August 24, 2005

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear

Related Country: 

  • Iran

. . .

QUESTION: About Iran, if it's possible? It was (inaudible) question. The President, the Iranian President says he wants to keep negotiating with the EU-3 and he's going to give a lot of innovations. Do you have any comment on that?

MR. MCCORMACK: Well, I think the EU-3 has an offer on the table. They have, I think, showed great dedication and perseverance in their efforts to resolve this issue through diplomatic means and we support them in that. We would encourage the Iranian Government to engage with the EU-3 negotiators in a serious and constructive way and we would encourage them to take the offer that is on the table. I think that the EU-3 offer is comprehensive, it's constructive and it addresses the issue, so we would encourage them to take the deal that's on the table.

QUESTION: But would you accept them to keep negotiating after the third of September?

MR. MCCORMACK: Again, you know, certainly we think that the EU-3 diplomatic process has legs in it -- well, it still has legs. And we look forward to resolving this -- we look forward to supporting the EU-3 in this effort and resolving the differences that Iran has with the world regarding its nuclear program, resolving those differences through diplomatic means.

QUESTION: Is the UN General Assembly and the expected attendance by the new Iranian President an opportunity for the U.S. to get and a little more directly into this subject? Are you going to be talking on any level with the Iranians? And just a logistical question: Has -- David Welch just said he didn't think so, but he'll check it out with you -- has the visa or whatever is required, is that taken care of or is it a cinch or what?

MR. MCCORMACK: There has been a request made and we're looking at the request now. I think that President Bush has talked a little bit about this issue as well. And I think that he said that we have -- obligations under our agreement with the UN to allow people to come and meet and he said that -- President Bush said, I suspect he'll be there.

As for the issue of Iran's nuclear program and where that issue needs to be resolved, we talked about that a lot yesterday. And right now we're working with the EU-3 and their negotiations. But there are still many, many questions left unanswered concerning Iran's nuclear program where Dr. ElBaradei has a team that's looking at some of those issues.

They are putting together a report and I think they're going to produce that report towards the beginning of September. And we look forward to hearing from the IAEA on what they have found and what they have to say, concerning Iran's cooperation in terms of resolving these issues and we'll also have discussions at the next IAEA Board of Governors meeting, which is at the beginning of September. So I think that's what's on our horizon right now, Barry. As for UNGA or anything else, you know, I couldn't speak to that. But I think that the next step in this process is looking at what the IAEA has to say and then talking about the issues at the Board of Governors meeting.

QUESTION: Are they (inaudible) -- And one quick one, I mean, there are ways to talk to the Iranians and, in fact, the UN format has served as a basis for being at the same meeting and, you know, exchanging some views of that issue or any other issue.

MR. MCCORMACK: Not aware of any plans.

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