Iran's ex-president hopeful for EU nuclear talks

29th April 2005, Comments 0 comments

29 April 2005, TEHERAN - Iran's influential ex-president Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani on Friday expressed hopes for a settlement in the upcoming nuclear talks with the European Union trio of Germany, France and Britain.

29 April 2005

TEHERAN - Iran's influential ex-president Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani on Friday expressed hopes for a settlement in the upcoming nuclear talks with the European Union trio of Germany, France and Britain.

While reiterating the peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear projects, Rafsanjani told worshippers at the Friday prayer ceremony in Teheran that a settlement would avoid another crisis in the Gulf region.

With Rafsanjani widely regarded by observers as the favourite to succeed President Mohammad Khatami in the 17 June presidential elections, much press focus is on the pragmatic 70-year-old cleric and his plans to settle the nuclear issue.

Talks on the nuclear issue with representatives of Britain, France and Germany will be resumed on Friday in London with Teheran describing the talks as the last chance for reaching agreement.

Britain, France and Germany have since December last year been spearheading efforts aimed at convincing Teheran to permanently suspend uranium enrichment in return for aid and improved economic and diplomatic relations.

The United States has long accused Iran of harbouring ambitions to build nuclear weapons. Teheran however maintains that its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes only.

DPA

Subject: German news

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