Thursday, June 01, 2006

UN powers agree on iran carrots and sticks package

nuclear iran- The U.S., China, Russia and three European powers have agreed on ``far-reaching proposals'' in an attempt to persuade Iran to curtail its nuclear program, Britain's top diplomat said in Vienna.

"We believe (the proposals) offer Iran the chance to reach a negotiated agreement based on cooperation," British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett told a news conference, adding the major powers were prepared to suspend UN Security Council action if Tehran halted uranium enrichment.
other powers involving vienna negotiation including china and russia yet has not statement in this regard.

Earlier today Iran rejected a US condition for direct talks on its nuclear program, expressing its right for peaceful R&D enrichment. Iran says its nuclear program is solely for power generation.

The major powers' accord was reached at a Vienna meeting of foreign ministers from the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China - all UN Security Council permanent members - as well as Germany and EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana.

"We have agreed a set of far reaching proposals as a basis for discussions with Iran," said Mrs Beckett.

while In the past Russia and China have opposed punitive measures, yet it is not clear which shift created in their position on iran.
earlier last week Russia and Iran wrapped up high-level talks on the Islamic republic's nuclear programme on Sunday, with Tehran saying both sides agreed to continue negotiations and work towards a peaceful solution to the crisis.

"We are prepared to resume negotiations should Iran resume suspension of all enrichment related and reprocessing activities as required by the (UN nuclear watchdog) and we would also suspend action in the Security Council," said Beckett.

"We have also agreed that if Iran decides not to engage in negotiation, further steps would have to be taken in the Security Council ... We urge Iran to take the positive path and to consider seriously our substantive proposals which would bring significant benefits."

Key ingredient

Officials said no details would be issued before the package was presented to Iran, which has said its program to enrich uranium - a key ingredient in civilian nuclear power plants and atomic bombs - was non-negotiable.

US President George W Bush warned Iran that if it refused to stop enrichment, a process that can yield bomb-grade material, its case would go to the UN Security Council.

"If that is what they decide to do, the next step is for our coalition partners to go to the Security Council," said Mr Bush.

In Washington, US State Department spokesman Tom Casey said Bush had spoken to Russian and Chinese leaders and that the conversations had been positive.

Mr Casey said the United States was willing to "go the extra mile" while Iran was using every excuse it could find not to move forward with discussions. "Iran clearly has a choice that it is going to have to make," he said.

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said Tehran was open to talks with Washington, which severed ties in 1980, but rejected a US demand it stop enriching uranium first.

"We will not give up our nation's natural right (to enrichment), we will not hold talks over it. But we are ready to hold talks over mutual concerns," he said in Tehran.

The White House urged Iran to take several days to examine the US policy shift and said Washington would reserve judgment until then on Tehran's response.

One senior US official said Tehran had only weeks to accept the overture before Western allies would start pursuing UN sanctions.
posted by ali ghannadi-irannuk

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