Iran human rights a priority for EU under UK presidency Fri. 1 Jul 2005

London, Jul. 01 – Human rights in Iran will be a priority for the European Union under the Presidency of the United Kingdom Prime Minister Tony Blair, according to a report released by British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw.

The report, entitled “Prospects for the EU in 2005”, noted, “Human rights are also a priority for the UK and EU in relations with Iran, and, as Presidency, the UK will represent the EU in the EU/Iran Human Rights Dialogue”.

The paper also stated that progress in the EU’s relations with Iran depended on “action” by Iran to address the EU’s political concerns in other areas such as the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, Iran’s approach towards terrorism and the Middle East peace process.

Regarding Iran’s suspected nuclear weapons program the paper added that “a full suspension [of uranium enrichment] is essential for the continuation of the process”.

The EU under Blair’s presidency will face newly-elected Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, an ultra-conservative loyal to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

The UK will “consult with partners” on the implications of the outcome of the Iranian presidential election, according to the paper.