RealNews

Patten talks trade and terror in Iran

Chris Patten, the European Union’s commissioner for external relations, is in Iran for a three-day visit to initiate more talks aimed at producing a trade and cooperation agreement with the Islamic republic. The negotiations are to begin on Wednesday and Mr Patten will meanwhile be holding talks with Iranian leaders on the political bones of contention the two sides are trying to resolve. Mr Patten has been in Tehran before, but this is the first time he has come on his own as the EU’s foreign affairs chief. Speaking after a first round of talks with Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi, Mr Patten made it clear that his visit reflects the importance the EU attaches to relations with Iran. His trip comes just a few days after President Bush, in his State of the Union address, said the Iranian government was oppressing its own people, pursuing weapons of mass destruction and supporting terrorism. Full Story

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