Rafsanjani Urges EU Countries to Abandon Unwise Methods
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Chairman of Iran’s Expediency Council described goodwill as the prerequisite to negotiations between Iran and the western countries, and added that European states are expected to focus on rational talks instead of imposing sanctions on Tehran.
“We expected the European countries to insist on wise negotiations rather than using unwise methods such as (imposing) sanctions and threats,” Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said in a Monday meeting with Hannes Swoboda, head of a five-member delegation from the European Parliament (EP), in Tehran.
“The West should prove its goodwill in (its) resolve to cooperate with Iran,” Rafsanjani added.
He also reaffirmed that Iran has never pursued military purposes in its peaceful nuclear program, and said the country cannot ignore the “historical rights of its present and next generations” to peaceful nuclear energy.
The delegation of European Parliament lawmakers arrived in Tehran on Saturday for a four-day visit.
The European official, for his part, said the EP is trying to remove sanctions against the Iranian nation, noting that the initial steps have been taken in recent talks between Iran and the G5+1 countries (the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany) in Geneva.
“This is true that the European Union and the US are allies, but we have differences on the issue (anti-Iran sanctions),” Swoboda said in a press conference on Monday.
He described the Social Democratic Party in the European Parlaiment as an ally of Iran and expressed hope that Iran-EU ties will improve and expand in the future.
"We favor positive relation with the Islamic Republic. We would like to see stability and security in countries near the EU borders... The EU can invest in Iran's oil and gas sectors, but first there need to be negotiations in this regard," he said on Monday.
In recent years the western governments have imposed new sanctions on Iran on the pretext that the country may be trying to develop a nuclear weapon capacity under the guise of its civilian nuclear program, an allegation strongly dismissed by Iran which states that it needs nuclear energy for generating electricity and other purely peaceful purposes.
Many of the sanctions predate the nuclear dispute and some of them are as old as the Islamic system in Iran, and the US has always found fabricated pretexts to tighten the existing sanctions and impose new ones.