Comments by Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Bernard Bot on Negotiations with Iran

European Union Presidency
December 13, 2004

As you already know, the UK, France, Germany and High Representative Solana are to re-enter negotiations with Iran today.

This is about the enrichment and improvement of uranium and the possibilities for the IAEA to check whether Iran is honouring its agreements. That would mean a deferment of the improvement: Iran must honour its promises.

It must also be established that Iran's nuclear programme is set up for peaceful purposes only, otherwise the intensification of the EU-Iran relationship (trade agreement, political dialogue) cannot go ahead.

However, the nuclear question is not the only issue.

The EU cannot afford to lose sight of other important issues, in particular human rights, the struggle against terrorism and the position of Iran in the Middle East.

Complete transparency is vital during negotiations: Council and Commission must give the same signals to Teheran. Only in this way can we perform effectively.