Vienna, 28 February 2013 Press release

Spindelegger: “Iran must finally show good will”

Austrian Vice-Chancellor and Foreign Minister meets Iran Foreign Minister; atomic programme and human rights were the main discussion issues

Vienna, 28 February 2013 – The sidelines of the 5th Global Forum of the UN Alliance of Civilizations were used today for a meeting of Austrian Foreign Minister and Vice-Chancellor Michael Spindelegger with his Iranian Foreign Minister counterpart Ali Akbar Salehi. The issues discussed were the Iranian nuclear programme in the light of current negotiations with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the latest discussion round of the E3+3 Group (Germany, France, the United Kingdom; China, Russia and the USA) in Kazakhstan.

Vice-Chancellor Spindelegger made a powerful appeal to Foreign Minister Salehi, to end all open doubts on the military dimension of the Iranian atomic programme through a course of transparency and permitting appropriate IAEA inspections. “The current E3+3 discussions with Iran in Kazakhstan would be an opportunity for Iran to finally show good intentions. It is in the interest of Iran to clear up any existing doubts about its atomic programme on a sustainable basis. But in order to do this full transparency must be ensured. The IAEA inspectors must receive all the information they have requested and be able to carry out all their inspection measures in Iran. In an area such as that of nuclear technology in particular mutual trust can only be established through openness and cooperation with the IAEA and the international community of states. Iran has much catching up to do here”, the Vice-Chancellor said.

Current developments in Syria and North Africa were also discussed together with the human rights situation in Iran. Spindelegger expressed his concern about the persecution of journalists, human rights activists, trade unionists and also artists and he called on his Iranian counterpart to give his support to an improvement in the human rights situation. “The fact that Iran has the greatest number of death penalty cases for the size of its population in the world and that there are public executions and also death penalties for minors, are facts unworthy of this nation with its ancient culture. I hope that the penal code reform currently under discussion will bring an end to stoning sentences and death sentences for minors finally and without exception”, the Vice-Chancellor said.

Spindelegger also asked for information about the former presidential candidates in the 2009 elections Musawi and Karrubi, who are under house arrest and called for them to be freed without delay.

Federal Ministry for
European and International Affairs
Press Department
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