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. EU says ready to work with new Iranian government but sets terms
BRUSSELS (AFP) Jun 25, 2005
The European Union is ready to work with "any Iranian government" that is willing to progress on the questions of human rights, nuclear energy and other matters of concern, a spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said Saturday after the country's election.

"We take note of the results of the Iranian presidential election", which brought hardline Tehran mayor Mahmood Ahmadinejad into office by a 60 percent majority to succeed reformist Mohammad Khatami, the spokesman said.

He stressed that Brussels regretted the fact that "many candidates were not able to stand," having been excluded by a powerful watchdog body for alleged lack of Islamic credentials, adding that "only freedom of expression and assembly guarantee an electoral process that is really free and fair."

The spokesman underlined "the importance that the European Union attaches to political and economic reforms in Iran, as well as progress in matters that concern it: human rights, non proliferation, the fight against terrorism and the Middle East situation."

"Such advances are necessary for EU-Iran relations, including negotiations on a trade and cooperation agreement, to achieve their full potential," he said.

"The Union is ready to work with any government which wants to work with it with the aim of realising these objectives."

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