Iran angered, postpones nuclear talks; EU frustrated

Iran Rajavi nuclearStop Fundamentalism, July 5 – In apparent anger at the Iranian exiled opposition leader Maryam Rajavi’s visit to the European Parliament, Iran once again did not show for crucial nuclear talks with the European Union on Wednesday.

Javier Solana, head of European Union’s foreign policy, who delivered EU’s incentive package to Tehran last month to encourage this country to suspend its nuclear development program, said on Wednesday that the meeting was postponed to Thursday.

"I was surprised to hear that Ali Larijani has decided at the last minute to postpone his trip to Brussels as previously agreed with him to take place today," Solana said in a statement reported by Reuters.

"I have made clear to the Iranians and to Dr Larijani that we want to proceed rapidly to examine the ideas I put to him early last month."

Solana pointed that the meeting tomorrow could continue next Tuesday, July 11.

An EU diplomat told Reuters that the Iranians had cited a visit to the European Parliament in Strasbourg on the same day by the leader of the National Council of Resistance of Iran.

Asked whether the visit by Maryam Rajavi was the reason for the sudden postponement, an Iranian official told Reuters: "It could have had a negative impact on the meeting."

Rajavi is based in France and was invited to the legislature by a cross-party group of EU lawmakers who call themselves "Friends of a Free Iran."

Rajavi held a news conference at the EU legislature in the eastern French city but canceled plans to meet parliamentary groups in what she said was an attempt to avoid giving the Iranian authorities an excuse to stop the nuclear talks.

"I wish to remove any pretext that the mullahs might have and I wish to make negotiations possible for the international community, and that is why I have asked that the meetings be deferred," she told journalists.

Rajavi’s group was the first to publish details of Iran’s clandestine nuclear enrichment program in 2002.