Straw: US stalls accord on Iran nuclear program

Straw: US stalls accord on Iran nuclear program
Fri Jul 5, 2013 18:57:08

Former British Foreign Minister has called upon the Ten Dawning Street to engage with the Islamic Republic, saying that the US has closed the doors on Iran nuclear talks.

“What I’ve been urging the government, is that we do our best to reengage with the Iranians.. There is a chance now that we can. I am not naive the least that….”

Straw’s remarks came weeks after the new Iranian President elect Hassan Rohani, though yet to take office, won a sweeping victory in presidential elections.

Speaking at a panel in the BBC, Straw blamed the US government for stalling nuclear talks a few years ago just as the diplomatic efforts to end a political deadlock on Iran nuclear program was in final touches.

“We were getting somewhere, with respect, and then it’s a complicated story, the Americans actually pulled the rug from under [President Mohammd] Khatami’s feet and the Americans got what they didn’t want.”

“You know we are now in a different situation critically,” he added.

Straw said that Tehran is after civilian nuclear program, adding that there is no indication to prove that the Islamic Republic is following a weapon program.

“My instinct about Iran is that they are building a civil nuclear program … there is no evidence, not from the IAEA, not from the Americans, quite reverse from the Americans, which says there is a smoking gun here.”

Straw also stressed the Western claimed evidences regarding the existence of nuclear weapons in Iran are also less than the evidences presented in regards of Iraq and Libya.

Asked if Iran is not after building a bomb, Straw said “I don’t know for certain, but there is no evidence they are involved in building a bomb, quite right a bomb at the moment.”

The senior British official also referred to the 2007 US intelligent estimate report which said Iran abandoned its nuclear program in 2003, adding that “let’s just make that clear. The United States publishes a national intelligence estimate. They published one in 2007 saying in terms that they judge that Iran had abandoned its development of nuclear program in 2003 and said no evidence to bring it back and that’s not been count amounted since. I accept there is ambiguous evidence for example about high levels of enrichment uranium but that’s not yet by any means equals a bomb.”

Referring to the international peace conference scheduled to be held in Geneva to end Syria turmoil, the former British foreign Minister said “We’ve got to get Iran to this peace conference, planned at some stage in Geneva.”

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