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Ahmadinejad's attempt to strengthen ties with EU

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posted on May, 27 2006 @ 02:45 PM

BERLIN (Reuters) - Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was quoted on Saturday as saying European nations should stand by his country in the dispute over its nuclear programme or suffer damages.

According to an excerpt of an interview with Germany's Der Spiegel news magazine Ahmadinejad also said he still has not decided whether to visit Germany during next month's World Cup soccer tournament.

"They are losing their reputation," Ahmadinejad said, referring to European nations that have worked with the United States to hinder Iran's nuclear ambitions.

In the nuclear conflict, the Europeans "should stand on the side of Iran", Der Spiegel quoted him as saying. Otherwise "they will carry the damages from that." He did not elaborate.

But Ahmadinejad added Iran was interested in improving what he called "already good relations" with Europe.

Iran, the world's fourth-largest oil producer, says it has a right to a nuclear program, and denies U.S. accusations it is trying to build an atomic bomb. It says it only wants to enrich uranium to a level suitable for use in nuclear power reactors.

Ahmadinejad, criticised in Europe for anti-Israel remarks in the past, repeated previous statements about doubting whether the Holocaust happened. Six million Jews were killed by the Nazis and their allies in the Holocaust.

"I only accept something as the truth if I am truly convinced of it," he said.

Iran is one of the 32 teams to qualify for the World Cup, and Ahmadinejad said he has not yet made up his mind about attending the tournament.

Some German leaders, including Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, have said he should be allowed to come because Germany wants to be a good host while others said he should not be allowed into Germany for questioning Israel's right to exist.

"My decision depends on a lot of different things," Ahmadinejad said.

I wonder how the Brussels will internally respond on this, as usual (and of course understandable they'll chose the best option for the EU). Economically it would be beneficial for Europe to strengthen the ties with Europe, but Europe would never let the US down.

Currently, I wonder whether Europe would possibly join a ''coalition force'' if it comes to an invasion of Iran. What do you guys think?

Oh and please, let's keep the topic serious without making it a bash-on-Europe topic.


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