Berlusconi: Italy ready to act as mediator in Iran row

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has said Rome is willing to act as an intermediary in efforts to help reach a deal with Tehran over its nuclear program, Reuters reported.

"We spoke to the United States, with (Secretary of State) Hillary Clinton. We tried to make ourselves helpful," Berlusconi said in an interview with CNN International.

Italy has been keen to play a more active role in the row over Iran's nuclear program. However, his willingness has not been welcomed by the key members of the European Union: Britain, France and Germany.

EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana has been representing the six world powers -- the United States, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany – in nuclear negotiations with Iran.

"In other situations we have been helpful, so even in this situation (concerning Iran) if we are asked we are willing to try to be helpful for the common good," Berlusconi said, according to a transcript released by his office Monday.

Unlike his predecessor George W. Bush, President Obama has said Washington would join nuclear discussions with Tehran from now on.

Iran has welcomed "constructive" talks but has rejected demands to halt uranium enrichment program.  Iran is legally allowed to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes as a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

The International Atomic Energy Agency is monitoring all the processes of nuclear activities in Iran by installing cameras and making regular inspections.

The use of nuclear energy is gaining more momentum as global warming, blamed on fossil fuel emissions, is emerging as a very serious threat to the environment.

 

PA/PA

END

MNA

News Code 33991

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