EU hails new US openness to Teheran

EU foreign ministers urge Iran to "seize opportunity" to negotiate with int'l community on nuclear issue.

EU foreign ministers 248.88 (photo credit: AP)
EU foreign ministers 248.88
(photo credit: AP)
US President Barack Obama's new openness toward Iran is a chance for Teheran to reconnect with the international community and find a negotiated settlement to the nuclear issue, the European Union said Monday. "The EU warmly supports the new direction of US policy toward Iran, which opens a window of opportunity for negotiations on all aspects of Iran's nuclear program," the EU foreign ministers said in a statement issued during their monthly meeting. They said Teheran's response to Washington also will set the tone for Iran's relations with Europe, which have soured over concern about Iran's nuclear enrichment program. "The EU calls upon Iran to seize this opportunity to engage seriously with the international community ... to find a negotiated solution to the nuclear issue which will address Iran's interests, including the development of a civil nuclear power generation program," said the European officials. Since taking office in January, Obama has made overtures to Iran's leaders, saying he ready for a dialogue. Recently, he released a video message to the people of Iran. Iran has been mostly lukewarm to Obama's overtures. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said his country is preparing a new package of proposals aimed at resolving the dispute - but Teheran insists that it won't halt its uranium enrichment activities. On Monday, the EU urged Iran to respond positively to Obama "to find a negotiated solution to the nuclear issue. The evolution of our relations with Iran will also depend on it."