EU’s Van Rompuy Says Iran Nuclear Talks Give ’Reason to Hope’

European Union President Herman Van Rompuy said the resumption of international talks over Iran’s nuclear program gave a “reason to hope” that the country is serious about addressing the issue.

Stressing the EU’s “deep concern over Iran’s nuclear program,” Van Rompuy said today in Brussels that the April 14 talks “in Istanbul give us reason to hope that Iran will engage in a sustained process of serious dialog on the nuclear issue.” He said the 27-nation bloc has introduced “robust restrictive measures which are important in convincing Iran to return to meaningful negotiations.”

World powers broke a 15-month stalemate on the nuclear conflict during the April 14 discussions. The talks between Iran and the five permanent United Nations Security Council members - - the U.S., the U.K., China, Russia and France -- plus Germany are set to resume on May 23 in Baghdad.

Van Rompuy also said the EU “remains deeply concerned about the fragile situation in Syria with systematic and widespread violations of human rights by the regime and reports of heavy weaponry in civilian areas.” He urged the Syrian government “to allow the effective operation and deployment of the fully fledged observer mission without delay.”

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