Rafsanjani Supports Closer EU Ties

Rafsanjani Supports Closer EU Ties  Rafsanjani Supports Closer EU Ties

Iran is willing to strengthen ties with European states, especially Germany, and officials should make right decisions to help remove obstacles in the way of improved relations, Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani says.

The chairman of the Expediency Council made the remark in a meeting with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Tehran on Sunday, IRNA reported.

"Germany's unique technical know-how and Iran's untapped technical potential" can pave the way for increased technological and industrial cooperation, Rafsanjani noted, reiterating that recent political interactions between Tehran and Berlin after a lingering slump in relations indicate that the two sides are strongly determined to develop mutual ties.

Highlighting Iran's practical experience in combating extremism, the senior official said, "Terrorist cells have gained so much power that they have become belligerent; consequently, fighting them requires not only political awareness but also practical measures."

On Tehran-Riyadh disagreements over regional issues which have slowed efforts to defuse conflicts, Rafsanjani noted, "Given the ups and downs in relations between the two states during the years after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, disputes can be settled providing that some Saudi officials stop making wrong decisions resulting in heightened tensions in the crisis-hit Middle East."

  Fruitful Trip  

Expressing pleasure with the settlement of the Iran nuclear issue after a long diplomatic process, Steinmeier stated, "This is my first trip to Iran as the foreign minister accompanied by an economic and political delegation, and so far constructive talks have been held with Iranian officials."

According to the top German diplomat, Berlin is set to expand its business and political relations with Iran.

Stressing the need for formulating a global policy to fight terrorism, Steinmeier said, "The existing disagreements between Tehran and Washington and Tehran and Riyadh on other issues should not hinder adopting a comprehensive policy to fight terrorism as it will inflict serious damage on all countries."