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EU's double-track policy with Iran

June 26, 2008

Negotiations and sanctions are two European options vis-a-vis Iran and its alleged nuclear programme. Brussels says it is going to pursue both.

EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana has said the EU will pursue a "double track" policy towards Iran until the Iranian government responds to a proposal, made by the bloc on 14th June 2008, that Iran cease uranium enrichment in return for economic incentives. Solana, who was attending a UN disarmament conference in Geneva, Switzerland, told Reuters news agency he was hoping to get an answer soon. "In the meantime, we will keep the double track open," Solana said. "We want to have a solution which is diplomatically negotiated."

But Iran's parliamentary speaker and former chief negotiator on nuclear questions, Ali Larijani, said the EU was taking the wrong tack. In an open session of the Iranian parliament he warned that the West could "face a fait accompli that will block the path of return to a compromise with Iran."

Asset removal

There are reports that Tehran, perhaps fearful of a further deterioration in relations and further sanctions from the EU, is beginning to withdraw its assets from European countries. On Wednesday, 25th June the German newspaper Die Zeit -- citing information from Germany's national bank -- reported that Iran's largest commercial bank had sold off 11 million euros ($17 million) in German stocks and other securities in the first quarter of this year.

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© Deutsche Welle, German Information Centre New Delhi
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