Minister: Iran wants closer ties to EU

June 26, 2012 at 2:30 PM
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NICOSIA, Cyprus, June 26 (UPI) -- Iran's foreign minister in a speech Tuesday to expatriates on Cyprus said Tehran wants to develop closer relations with the European Union.

Ali Akbar Salehi said he expects Cyprus, which assumes the rotating EU presidency in July, to act as a bridge between Iran and Europe, the Islamic Republic News Agency reported.

The EU approved a boycott of Iranian oil Monday as part of the continuing effort to pressure Iran on its nuclear program. Salehi did not address the boycott except to say Iran will soon have the capacity to export research reactors.

Ramin Mehmanparast, a foreign ministry spokesman, told reporters at his regular weekly briefing in Tehran the boycott will hurt upcoming talks with the group that includes the United States, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany, the Tehran Times reported.

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