Iran, EU to Hold Comprehensive Talks in December

bahram qassemi

Iran and the European Union will hold a comprehensive round of negotiations in Brussels in December, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman announced Monday, saying the talks will include human rights issues, among other topics.

Speaking at a press conference in Tehran on Monday, Bahram Qassemi said Iran will be represented at the level of deputy foreign ministers in the December negotiations.

“Various issues will be mooted in those negotiations, and human rights could be one of them,” he noted.

The Brussels talks will not necessary focus on the human rights issues, as “we will have a lot of other subjects that we will raise,” the spokesman added.

According to Qassemi, the Iranian team of negotiators in the upcoming talks will not include a certain human rights delegation, but will be comprised of “a specialized delegation” including experts in each of fields that are going to be discussed.

“Our relations with Europe are significant and age-old; we have a lot in common, and could have differences in issue about values or even regional issues,” he noted.

In August, Iran’s top judge Ayatollah Amoli Larijani proposed that the Islamic Republic and Europe can begin discussions about human rights, provided that Iran also has the chance to question the shortcomings of Europeans regarding human rights.

“I suggest that the (Judiciary’s) Human Rights Council, the Foreign Ministry and the Supreme National Security Council pave the way for talks with European countries (on human rights),” he said, adding that the US must be excluded from any such discussions because “Americans are only after deception.”

“We also have things to say about human rights in Europe. We have questions and views about Europe’s approach toward humans, Islamophobia in Europe, and France’s ban on hijab,” he stressed.

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