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Cronberg: EU key player in Iran Diplomacy

4.6.2012

Tarja Cronberg, the chair of European parliament's Iran delegation, is to speak today in a seminar organised by the Arms Control Association in Washington. Rose Gottemueller, President Obama’s Under Secretary for Arms Control, will also address the seminar. The main theme is the negotiations between the US and Russia on nuclear disarmament. Also Iran’s nuclear program and the current international negotiations will be discussed. The negotiations between Iran and the six countries are to continue in Moscow later this month. Cronberg states that EU should consider in depth its relationship with Iran.

- EU has to develop a long-term Iran strategy that is not based on the perception of the country as an enemy. If negotiations are to proceed, EU will have to address several crucial questions: What kind of Iran do we want to see in two or five years? What kind of policies should EU implement in order to make Iran to abstain from the military use of nuclear technology in the future? What is EU’s position on the changing role of Iran in the Middle East? It is of utmost importance that EU is able to formulate a robust Iran strategy by means of a strategic discussion led by the HR Ashton, Cronberg points out.

- The EU needs to establish a dialogue both with the Iranian political elite and with the civil society. An important step in this process would be to open an EU embassy in Tehran. Also the UN conference on Weapons of Mass Destruction free Middle East set to take place in Helsinki in December this year is an important opening for co-operation. We seldom get the countries of the wider Middle East around the same table, the opportunity is historical, says Cronberg.

- EU's Iran strategy has to strike a balance between regional security, human rights, and economic cooperation. In the aftermath of the Arab spring there is also a clear need for a proper security strategy between EU and Middle East. Turkey is an important partner to consider. Currently there is a real risk of an arms race in the region, Cronberg points out.

More information on the Arms Control Association event:

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