Schröder Urges Dialogue With Iran | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 27.06.2005
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Schröder Urges Dialogue With Iran

Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, on his way to a meeting with President George W. Bush on Monday, said Europeans should continue nuclear talks with Iran following the presidential election of the conservative Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Schröder told reporters aboard his flight to Washington that the European Union must make it clear to Iran that it was prepared to allow the development of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes in exchange for "tangible guarantees" that Iran would not make nuclear weapons. With Britain and France, Germany is part of an EU triumvirate that is negotiating with Tehran in an attempt to head off Iran's ambitions to enrich its own uranium. Failure of the talks could open the way to sanctions against Iran in the United Nations, but Schroeder warned that such a measure "might harm us more than Iran" -- a reference to the EU's dependence on Iranian oil exports. Although Ahmadinejad has a reputation as a religious hard-liner, he said in a speech Sunday that he would head a moderate government and continue the nuclear talks with the Europeans. Schröder, who faces elections himself later this year, said he respected the result of the presidential vote in Iran.

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