22 August 2006

Secretary-General Appeals to Iran for Positive Reply to European Proposal for Solution to Nuclear Issue

NEW YORK, 21 August (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued on 20 August by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan:

I am pleased that the Islamic Republic of Iran has indicated it will respond to the proposal of the EU3 (France, Germany and United Kingdom) plus 3 (China, Russian Federation and United States) for a comprehensive solution to the nuclear issue on Tuesday, 22 August 2006.  I appeal to the Government of Iran to seize this historic opportunity.  Iran's reply will, I trust, be positive and this will be the foundation for a final, negotiated settlement.

In a time of acute crisis in the Middle East, I believe that progress on the nuclear issue is essential for the stability not only of the region, but the international system itself.  It is time to take steps in the right direction.  I am convinced that a way is now open for setting a milestone for international non-proliferation efforts.

The EU3 plus 3 have reaffirmed Iran's right to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.  It is important that Iran now assures the world that its intentions are peaceful, and that it rebuilds confidence in its nuclear programme, as both the IAEA and the Security Council have called for.

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