02202018Tue

Iran Focus: Iran will be sending its chief national security official, Hassan Rowhani to The Hague on Monday. The Netherlands is  the current holder of the rotating EU Presidency.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told reporters in Tehran today: “At present we are conducting very sensitive discussions with the Europeans.” He added that Rowhani will conduct a series of talks with Dutch officials.

AFP: Disappointed European leaders seem to be torn between pursuing efforts to engage Iran and calls for a harder line over Tehran's nuclear aims, to bring them closer to the US stance.
European Union (EU) foreign ministers, gathered for back-to-work talks in the Netherlands this weekend, did little to disguise their deep concern over Iran, which Washington wants hauled before the UN Security Council.

AP: The European Union said Friday that Iran's nuclear program has cast a shadow over its relations with Europe, which has been at pains to forge closer trade and other ties in recent years.
"We want to send out a very strong signal that we mean business," said Dutch Foreign Minister Ben Bot, whose  country holds the EU presidency. "We cannot accept ... the development of weapons grade uranium" by Iran.

Reuters: European Union foreign ministers, including Jack Straw, have voiced disenchantment at Iran's failure to cooperate more fully with U.N. efforts to ensure its nuclear programme is not a front for developing atomic weapons.
"We have all been perplexed and saddened that the Iranian government has not completed all the tasks it said it would," Straw said on arrival for an EU meeting in the Netherlands.

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