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"Bad news" if Iran does not allow snap nuclear inspections: EU
ATTENTION -Solana, Kharazi clash on Iranian diplomat arrest ///
EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana on Saturday warned it would be "bad news" for Iran if it does not accept snap International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspections of its nuclear sites.
He also cautioned the Islamic republic against "bargaining" on the sensitive issue.
"If you don't sign the protocol it will be a bad news for you," Solana said during a joint news conference with Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi.
"There will be no reward for doing that -- it is not a bargaining thing," added the EU official who was also to meet President Mohammad Khatami.
The European Union has joined the wider international community in pressing Iran to sign an additional protocol to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty that would allow IAEA inspectors to descend on its nuclear sites without warning to ensure that Tehran is not secretly developing atomic weapons.
The European Union last month warned that, without credible guarantees over the protocol, it would review its economic ties with the country after an IAEA report on Iran is presented in Vienna on September 8.
"But we want it to be signed: the sooner, the better," said Solana. "It brings trust and confidence to the officials in Vienna and the members of the international community," he added.
Kharazi insisted Iran's goodwill was evident from its willingness to allow IAEA inspectors to visit and recently take samples from nuclear facilities, as well as its participation in talks over signing the protocol.
"We expect the European Union not to buckle under pressure and not let the (IAEA) governors politicize the affair," he said, alluding to US attempts to persuade the IAEA to refer the matter to the UN Security Council, which would carry the threat of sanctions.
Iran has come under increasing pressure, notably from the United States, to sign the additional protocol.
Concern over the issue resurfaced this week when a UN report said that inspectors had found two different types of highly-enriched nuclear particles at facilities in Iran not needed in civilian atomic programs.
But Solana and Kharazi clashed over EU-member Britain's arrest of a former Iranian ambassador to Argentina, remanded in custody on an extradition request from Buenos Aires which accuses him of taking part in a 1994 terror bombing.
Solana said it was a judicial matter, while Kharazi reiterated Iran's position that Hadi Soleimanpur's arrest on August 21 was a "political affair."
"I fully know the judicial and political powers in Britain and I know the separation between the judicial and the political powers," the EU official said.
Kharazi retorted that "from a judicial standpoint, this procedure has no value. We are sure that Hadi Soleimanpur is innocent and his innocence will be proved," he said.
Buenos Aires has charged Soleimanpur with involvement in planning and commissioning the bombing of a Buenos Aires Jewish center that killed 85 and wounded 300 nine years ago.
However, Solana joined Iran in condemning Friday's bomb attack in Iraq's Shiite Muslim holy city of Najaf that killed leading cleric Mohammad Baqer al-Hakim, and at least 82 others.
"I was shocked upon hearing the news of assassination of religious leader Hakim and I hope that the people who did this will be prosecuted," he said.
"This shows that each country should stand along others to fight terrorism and we have forgotten how much the Muslims were the victims of terrorism."
Tehran backed Hakim during his 23-year exile in Iran before he returned to Iraq in May following the collapse of Saddam Hussein and has declared a three-day national mourning to honor the slain Shiite cleric. http://www.eubusiness.com/afp/030830122806.g8op56ox
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WAR IS NOT THE BEST MEANS TO DEAL WITH IRANIAN MENACE: RICHARD PERLE
PARIS 28 Aug. (IPS) "Iranian (nuclear) weapons are certainly a very serious problem for the United States and we ought to find proper means to deal with it", according to a senior American policy analyst from the neo-conservatives.
In a lengthy interview published Thursday by the centrist French daily "Le Figaro", Mr. Richard Perle, a former Defence under secretary under former president Ronald Reagan explained that after 11 September, the United States can no more allow that "the worst kind of arms in the world be in the hands of the worst regimes in the world".
A former member of the Pentagons Defence Policy Board, Mr. Perle is considered one of the most hawkish voices concerning threats posed by "rogue" regimes such as the Islamic Republic, Syria or North Korea.
His comments were made as international pressures increases on Tehran over its secret plans to produce an atomic arsenal, an accusation that Iran rejects, insisting that its present nuclear powered station that are under construction with the help of Russia are purely for civilian use, primarily producing electricity.
Observed that in case Washington would have to attack Iran, no nation, even Great Britain, USs only ally in the war against Iraq would refuse to join, Mr. Perle said he was not sure that today, war (on Iran) was the best of the means to deal with Iranian menace.
"However, I can assure you that in the US, the Congress is fully aware of the threats the regime of the Iranian mullahs presents for our nation", he added.
In his opinion, the present "chaos" in Iraq is due more to the lack of colonialist experience of the American administrations and less because of the result of the war. "Sure, we have not done all quite well (in Iraq). There has been mistakes and there will be more in the future. Invading a nation and administrate it is not in the American culture. We have no colonial experience of which we could draw a doctrine, therefore, our approach was an empiric one out of necessity", he explained.
He attributes the present widespread violence and sabotages to three groups of people: Members of the former Bath ruling Party that have nowhere to go; the Muslim extremists for whom attacking American soldiers is part of a global terrorist strategy and common law criminal who were freed from prison by Saddam Hoseyn. "But the great majority of the Iraqis do not support any of these groups", he stated.
Known for his mistrust of the United Nations, Mr. Perle expressed openly his objection to have the UN involved in the administration of Iraq. "This is utterly a bad idea, for the simple reason that the United Nations did not succeed in any area where it had been put in charge. The UN is not a solution (for Iraq). And what would do a French division that an American division can not?"
Nevertheless, Mr. Perle, who is finishing a book on the Iraq war in his residence in south of France, remains optimistic on the future of the war-ravaged country. "The key is to hand over the power to the Iraqis the soonest possible. We had been late, but we have realized our mistake. Now, things goes on the right direction". http://www.iran-press-service.com/articles_2003/Aug-2003/perle_interview_28803.htm
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