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EU Says It Will Continue Dialogue With Iran

The EU remains open to discussion on Iran's nuclear program (epa) 16 November 2005 -- The European Union said today it would continue to consult with the Iranian government over issues such as Tehran's nuclear program and human rights and rule of law.

British Minister for Europe Douglas Alexander, whose country currently holds the rotating EU Presidency, said talks with Tehran must continue despite worsening relations between the EU and Iran because of suspicions about Iran's nuclear-development program.

During a debate at the European Parliament, Alexander said dialogue with Iran was needed and it was the EU's responsibility to encourage Iran's new leadership to make choices that are in the best interests of the country.

Iran has rejected EU offers of political and economic incentives in exchange for a pledge from Tehran to suspend work on its nuclear program.

Many suspect Iran wants to make nuclear weapons but the Iranian government maintains its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.