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. Schroeder calls on US to support EU approach to Iran
MUNICH, Germany (AFP) Feb 12, 2005
German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder called Saturday on the United States to "actively" support diplomatic efforts led by three European Union countries to persuade Iran to abandon its nuclear ambitions in exchange for security guarantees.

"I strongly encourage the US administration to actively support the Europeans' diplomatic efforts," Schroeder said in a speech read at a security conference here by German Defense Minister Peter Struck because the chancellor was ill.

"Iran will only abandon its nuclear ambitions for good if not only its economic but also its legitimate security interests are safeguarded.

"In order to achieve this, it will be necessary to work with our American partner and in a dialogue with the region to develop sustainable security structures for the Gulf region," the German leader's speech said.

German is one of three key EU states -- the others are Britain and France -- pursuing efforts to negotiate a commitment from Iran that its nuclear program will be confined strictly and verifiably to civilian purposes.

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