Monday, June 26, 2006

British Ambassador Urges 'Early' Iran Nuclear Reply

Yahoo News:
Britain's new ambassador has appealed to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to give an "early response" to an international package aimed at defusing concerns over Iran's nuclear programme. "We hope that Iran will play a full role in regional and international affairs," envoy Geoffrey Adams told Ahmadinejad during a ceremony to present his credentials. READ MORE

"In that context, we believe that the recent proposals made by Mr. Solana constitute a sound basis for the resolution of the nuclear issue, and we look forward to the Iranian government's early response to them," a British embassy statement quoted him as saying.

On June 6, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana presented Iran with an offer -- backed by Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States -- of multilateral talks and a variety of incentives.

The offer is conditional on Iran first agreeing to suspend uranium enrichment work, the focus of suspicions that the Islamic regime wishes to acquire nuclear weapons.

But Iran appears to still reject the key condition and continues to call for negotiations without any "preconditions".

Ahmadinejad has said a reply will be given in late August, whereas the major powers are calling for a reply before the end of June, in time for a summit of the G8 group of industrialised nations in Russia.

Commenting on the often strained ties between Tehran and London, Adams pointed to "a complex and varied relationship" and called for relations "based on mutual respect and the principles of international law".

In the absence of a US embassy in Tehran, Britain's city centre compound frequently bears the brunt of anti-Western stone-throwing, shooting and bomb attacks from regime hardliners.