Germany wants greater transparency from Iran

10th November 2005, Comments 0 comments

10 November 2005, BERLIN - Germany's designated foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, called Thursday for Iran to be more open in its dealings with the international community over its nuclear programme.

10 November 2005

BERLIN - Germany's designated foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, called Thursday for Iran to be more open in its dealings with the international community over its nuclear programme.

"It is completely clear that transparency is missing," Steinmeier told an international conference in Berlin. "The suspicion has not been eliminated that planning and development (to promote Iran's nuclear potential) are being continued."

What is needed from Iran, Steinmeier told the conference, which was organised by Germany's Federal Intelligence Service (BND), were "objective guarantees that it was pursuing a nuclear programme exclusively for peaceful purposes."

Iran has the right for the peaceful use of nuclear energy, not however, to nuclear weapons, said Steinmeier, who is expected to takeover from Joschka Fischer as Germany's new foreign minister once final agreement on the new government has been reached this month.

Tehran has denied that it is planning to develop nuclear weapons and insists that its atomic energy programme is purely for peaceful purposes.

However, Steinmeier, a former senior adviser to outgoing Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, went on to roundly criticised the Iranian leadership in his speech to the conference.

"Who denies the right of Israel to exist, plays a dangerous and irresponsible game that we cannot take part in," he said.

Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad faced international condemnation last month when he called for Israel to be wiped off the map.

Meanwhile, BND chief August Hanning warned about the danger of weapons of mass destruction falling into terrorist hands.

Hanning told the conference that international terror and the spreading of weapons of mass destruction would became "the biggest threat to our western civilization in the next few years".

In particular, Hanning warned of the risk of terrorists gaining access to "dirty bombs" and chemical weapons.

DPA

Subject: German news

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