Iran calls on EU to drop sanctions

Aug. 7, 2013 at 11:29 AM

TEHRAN, Aug. 7 (UPI) -- The European Union is called on to lift sanctions on the Iranian economy as a confidence-building measure, an Iranian lawmaker said Wednesday.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani won June presidential elections by running as a moderate, vowing to reach out to the international community during his tenure. He was sworn in Sunday.

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, in a memo to Rouhani, said she was eager to resume nuclear negotiations "as soon as practicable," EUobserver reported. Two rounds of talks in Kazakhstan this year were described as amicable, but ended with no major breakthrough.

Javad Jahangirzadeh, a member of Iran's national security commission, said the EU should follow up with concrete action if it's serious about talks.

"As a first step, the European Union should revoke its sanction against the Central Bank of Iran in a bid to build confidence," he was quoted by the semiofficial Fars News Agency as saying.

Iran is suspected of pursuing technology to make a nuclear weapon, an allegation it denies. Rouhani said Tuesday the right to nuclear research was "non-negotiable" but noted he favored "political resolve" over "lengthy debates."

Rouhani was the chief Iranian nuclear negotiator before Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad came to power in 2005.

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