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US, Europe Urge Iran to Comply with its Nuclear Obligations


President Bush and European leaders want Iran to open its nuclear facilities to more inspections. The United States and the European Union also agreed to work more closely together to fight international terrorism.

President Bush said he expects Iran will agree to additional inspections if the world community gets behind that request from the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Following talks with European Union officials, Mr. Bush said Iran is failing to meet its obligations to the world and provide full access to IAEA inspectors.

"America and the EU agree that Iran must cooperate fully with the IAEA," he said. "We agree that Iran must sign and comply with an additional protocol giving the IAEA new tools to investigate clandestine nuclear weapons activities. Iran has pledged not to develop nuclear weapons, and the entire international community must hold that regime to its commitments."

"If Iran does not agree to further inspections, Mr. Bush said. "We will deal with that when they don't."

European Commission President Romano Prodi noted that the U.S. and EU are committed to verifying that Iran does not use its energy program to build nuclear weapons.

"The dialogue with Iran is going on daily and deeply and we push that they accept even the non-planned inspections because we have to be sure that it doesn't constitute a danger to future peace. We have to be absolutely sure," he said.

Seeking to soothe differences over the war in Iraq, Mr. Prodi said "no problem and no enemy can stand against" Europe and the United States when they are united. When they are not, he said "every problem may become a crisis and every enemy a gigantic monster."

They discussed some of those problems Wednesday including Europe's 1998 moratorium on imports of genetically modified food. That decision costs American farmers an estimated $300-million a year in lost corn exports, and the Bush administration is taking the dispute to the World Trade Organization.

They did address issues of joint concern, including the fight against international terrorism where Mr. Bush says they agreed on the need for "active interdiction" to stop the illicit trade in weapons of mass destruction.

"Both the United States and the EU are threatened by global terror and we are determined to defeat it," he said. "Today we have signed new agreements to increase our legal cooperation in the war on terror and to speed the extradition of terrorists."

The two sides expanded the range of terrorist offenses that qualify for extradition and decided to form joint U.S./EU investigative teams. They also agreed to work together to strengthen export controls on dangerous materials.