Rosenthal: concerns about Iran talks in Moscow
On Saturday, Minister of Foreign Affairs Uri Rosenthal spoke out strongly against nuclear developments in Iran. Speaking at a ministerial meeting in Istanbul on non-proliferation and disarmament, the Minister expressed concerns about the potential outcome of the meeting on 18 and 19 June in Moscow. There, under the leadership of EU High Representative Catherine Ashton, the United States, Russia, China, France, the United Kingdom and Germany would hold talks with Iran about its nuclear programme.
‘I support Ms Ashton’s approach,’ said Mr Rosenthal. ‘Iran must convince us that its nuclear programme is entirely peaceful in nature. But reports I’ve heard in the run-up to the Moscow conference are not encouraging. Little progress has been made so far. In Moscow Iran will have to take concrete steps, as requested by Ms Ashton, and we will have to make sure that we don’t give in to Iran’s delaying tactics.’
Mr Rosenthal therefore remains committed to the oil embargo, which will take effect on 1 July. ‘It is unacceptable that Iran is not abiding by its international obligations. Until it does the international community will have to turn up the pressure even further.’
In 2010 the foreign ministers of Japan and Australia took the initiative to assemble a group of 10 countries, including the Netherlands, aimed at making progress on non-proliferation and disarmament issues. The group meets once a year. Today it was decided in Istanbul that the Netherlands will host the next ministerial consultation in 2013.