Date:  19970503


MAY 3, 1997 TYPE=


0-07257 TITLE=

EDITORIAL: E-U ACTS ON IRAN CONTENT=THIS IS THE ONLY EDITORIAL BEING RELEASED FOR BROADCAST MAY 3, 1997. Anncr: The Voice of America presents differing points of view on a wide variety of issues. Next, an editorial expressing the policies of the United States Government. Voice:

The governments of the fifteen European Union countries recently suspended their "critical dialogue" with Iran. Through this approach they had hoped to moderate Iran's behavior. In a recent meeting, E-U foreign ministers declared that all high-level contacts will remain suspended until the Iranian government shows that it is willing to "respect the norms of international law and refrain from acts of terrorism, including against Iranian citizens living abroad, and cooperate in preventing such acts." The E-U will also continue its ban on arms transfers to Iran and will prohibit Iranian intelligence and security personnel from traveling in E-U countries.

The European Union acted in the wake of a German court verdict last month in which it was determined that the most senior levels of the Iranian government ordered the September 1992 murders of an Iranian Kurdish leader and three associates in Berlin. After the verdict was announced, E-U governments recalled their ambassadors from Tehran.

The United States welcomed the declaration by the E-U foreign ministers that there is no basis for continuation of the "critical dialogue" between the E-U and Iran. As State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns said, when the E-U ambassadors return to Tehran, "they will go back with this very tough message that it's not going to be business as usual any longer between the European Union member states and the government of Iran."

In addition to sponsoring international terrorism, the Iranian government has attempted to undermine the Middle East peace process and sought to acquire nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and the missiles to deliver them. For these reasons, the U.S. has prohibited virtually all trade with Iran by American companies. The U.S. continues to urge other countries, including those of the European Union, to join in this policy. As State Department spokesman Burns said, Iran needs to be contained and isolated, "because it is a dangerous state, a state that presents a threat to all of its neighbors and to the rest of us well beyond Iran's borders." Anncr:

That was an editorial expressing the policies of the United States Government. If you would like to be heard on this issue, please write to Editorials, Voice of America, Washington, D-C, 20547, U-S-A. You may also send us a FAX at (202) 619-1043. Your comments may be used on the air.

Product Name:  VOA EDITORIAL
Document Type:  Editorial
Keywords:  Europe-Iran Relations
Thematic Codes:  1A
Languages:  English