Summary of Meeting of the Delegation for Relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran, Held on 21 March 2006
Brussels, 29 Mar 2006
Subject: Summary of meeting of the Delegation for relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran, held on 21 March 2006, Brussels
The meeting was chaired by Mrs BEER (Verts/ALE, DE).
1. Exchange of views with Mrs. Felicity HILL and Mr. William PEDEN of Greenpeace on the negotiations concerning the Nuclear Programme of the Iranian government
In her introductory statement, Mrs. Felicity HILL reported on the latest meetings in New York. She said that during those meetings Greenpeace had been the only NGO present. It seemed to her that the others were not interested.
She complained about the rush with which they wanted to bring the Iran-case to the Security council. In her view Iran had continued to cooperate and give access to facilities, which seemed to be ignored quite often. She added that Iran had the right to peaceful nuclear research activities. She went on to complain about the attitude of the international community. She regretted that everybody wanted a military solution instead of a negotiated settlement. She underlined the necessity of cooperation with the Iranian Parliament. She said that the Delegations were there with a prefabricated position to bring the case to the Security Council without negotiating.
Mr. William PEDEN started by saying that the European Union and the United States had an agenda for the meeting in New York and that they had made some proposals before the meeting. So there had been some hope for positive negotiation. But during the meeting suddenly the position had changed and it was impossible to achieve a peaceful solution. He said that nobody could say for sure that Iran is using the nuclear program with a view to producing an atomic bomb.
In his view Iran should not be treated differently than India or Pakistan as was the case at present. He lamented the USA-India deal. He said that it looked as though India were being rewarded by the USA for becoming a nuclear power. The reaction of El-Baradei was also very shocking to Greenpeace. He concluded by saying that Iran had cooperated.
Mrs. Angelika BEER (Verts/ALE, DE), the chairwoman, underlined the importance of not to making exceptions. She said that it was not fair to say that India was allowed to have nuclear weapons and Iran not.
Mrs. Christa PRETS (PSE, AT), the Vice-President, said that a comparison should be made with other questionable countries. The European Union and USA should show all the problematic countries, and not only Iran, that they suspect their activities.
Mr. John PURVIS (PPE-DE, GB) said that the USA- India deal was not a coincidence but was planned very well. He underlined that the deal between the USA and India was a major problem, and not only because of the catastrophic public effect. He went on to say that Iran did not need a nuclear power, because it had enough oil resources, but Iran did see the nuclear program as it's right as a signatory party to the NPT. The United States and EU did not accept that. On the other hand they accepted the nuclear programmes of Japan and Brazil. In his view that was nuclear racism. He concluded by saying that no countries should be allowed to have nuclear energy, because in future nuclear powercould lead to horrible accidents like Chernobyl.
Mr. William PEDEN from Greenpeace underlined the importance of Article VI of the NPT, which lays down that "each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a Treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control." He said that this was the most important Article of the Treaty and should not be ignored.
Mrs. Angelika BEER said that it is very important that the Iranian Delegation should join the next meeting. She concluded by saying that the debate should be continued, so that EU-Iran relations could have a chance to improve.
2. Date of next meeting
Tuesday, 30 May 2006, Brussels