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IRAN : International Rally in Saintes - last chance for peace and nuclear disarmament?

Published 19 April 2006

Press Release - Saintes, 19th April 2006

After the failure of the meeting in Moscow between the Iranian delegation and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (USA, Russia, China, United Kingdom and France) and Germany, and with the reporting of Iran to the Security Council at the end of April now looking inevitable, it is in Saintes (France, Charente-Maritime) that the next round of diplomacy on the subject will take place.

Under the patronage of Mikhail Gorbachev, Michel Rocard and Ségolène Royal, the 2nd International Rally for nuclear, biological and chemical Disarmement will take place in Saintes on the 6th, 7th and 8th of May.
The embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in France has made it known that it will be sending a delegation and that its head will take part in the public debate on the afternoon of the 6th of May on the theme “ peaceful and military uses of nuclear technology : the Iranian question” .

For his part H. E. François Rivasseau, ambassador of France to the Disarmament Conference has informed the organizers that he would make every effort to be present for the debate and also the one the next day but that in any case he would be represented.

The public and the international press as well as participants from four continents invited to the Rally will be able to hear Iran and France expose their points of view in the light of the decisions taken in the meantime by the UN Security Council. This joint presence could be the occasion for informal meetings between the Iranian and French delegations.

The 6th of May in the evening a Round Table on « the effects of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons » will hear the head of the Vietnamese diplomatic delegation present the case of the Vietnamese victims of « Agent Orange », currently being tried in a New York court.

The 7th of May in the afternoon, there will be a similar debate on the theme « The Middle East between war and peace ». A delegation from the Israeli embassy has been invited but has not yet replied. Mordechaï Vanunu has also been invited.

The fate of Vanunu, who is currently prevented from leaving Israel, is to be re-examined on the 21st of April. We hope that the new Israeli government will rule in his favour, which would be a fair measure of appeasement and also a sign of hope for this region, where the future of peace is being played out in the shadow of nuclear arms.

We also hope that the United States will not resort unilaterally to the military force, with which they are threatening Iran. Especially as a novel solution has been proposed and will be debated during the Rally in Saintes.

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