Iran General NewsStraw says Iran nuke talks the only way forward

Straw says Iran nuke talks the only way forward

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Reuters: Foreign Secretary Jack Straw says there is no alternative to Europe’s approach of using diplomacy to try to persuade Iran to give up any technology that could be used make nuclear weapons. In an interview with the Financial Times, Straw defended the policy of Britain, France and Germany to talk to Iran rather adopt Washington’s more hardline stance. Reuters

LONDON – Foreign Secretary Jack Straw says there is no alternative to Europe’s approach of using diplomacy to try to persuade Iran to give up any technology that could be used make nuclear weapons.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Straw defended the policy of Britain, France and Germany to talk to Iran rather adopt Washington’s more hardline stance.

The European Union’s so-called “Big Three” have sought to persuade Tehran to stop technology that could be used to make atomic weapons in return for incentives such as trade deals and help with a civilian nuclear programme.

“Those who said we’d be split apart by the Iranians are wrong,” said Straw.

“Those who said we would not be able to negotiate any substantial text are wrong. Those who said we could not build up a degree of trust with Iranians, at the same time as building up a strong consensus with the U.S. and the non-aligned countries, are wrong.

“It has taken a phenomenal amount of work, but so far so good. And it is a better strategy than the alternative.”

U.S. President George W. Bush said on Monday he would not rule out military force against Iran over its nuclear programme.

Washington accuses Tehran of trying to produce nuclear weapons. Iran says its nuclear programme is designed solely for generation of electricity.

In a wide-ranging interview, Straw said Iraq’s elections on January 30 would be “imperfect” because of an insurgency.

“But obviously, the higher the turnout, the greater the legitimacy of the whole process,” said Straw.

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