Response expected tomorrow
on world powers’ incentives
package to Iran
July 04, 2008
TEHRAN, July 4 (Reuters) - Iran will respond on Friday to incentives offered by six world powers to try to entice Tehran to stop enriching uranium, which they fear could result in a nuclear bomb.
World powers handed Iran a package of incentives on June 14 to try and persuade it to suspend nuclear work the West fears is aimed at developing bombs, a charge Tehran denies.
The package -- agreed by the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany -- says formal negotiations on the offer can start as soon as Iran suspends uranium enrichment, which can have both civilian and military purposes.
The incentives package is a revised version of an offer spurned by Iran in 2006, which included civilian nuclear cooperation as well as wider trade in aircraft, energy, high technology and agriculture.
Iran has repeatedly rejected U.N. demands to halt enriching uranium, which can be used as fuel for power plants or provide material for weapons if refined much more.
Here are excerpts from an accompanying letter from the foreign ministers of the six powers addressed to Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, followed by key points from the incentives package, called Possible Areas of Cooperation with Iran.
LETTER FROM SIX POWERS' FOREIGN MINISTERS TO IRAN:
"We ... are convinced that it is possible to change the present state of affairs. We hope that Iran's leaders share the same ambition.
Iran is, of course, free to suggest its own proposals. Formal negotiations can start as soon as Iran's enrichment-related and reprocessing activities are suspended. We want to be clear that we recognise Iran's rights under the international treaties to which it is a signatory. We fully understand the importance of a guaranteed fuel supply for a civilian nuclear programme.
But with rights come responsibilities, in particular to restore the confidence of the international community in Iran's programme. We are ready to work with Iran in order to find a way to address Iran's needs and the international community's concerns, and reiterate that once the confidence of the international community in the exclusively peaceful nature of your nuclear programme is restored, it will be treated in the same manner as that of any Non-Nuclear Weapon State party to the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
We ask you to consider this letter and our proposals carefully ... The proposals we have made offer substantial opportunities for political, security and economic benefits to Iran and the region. There is a sovereign choice for Iran to make. We hope that you will respond positively; this will increase stability and enhance prosperity for all our people."
INCENTIVES PACKAGE OFFERED TO IRAN:
"... the elements below are proposed as topics for negotiations ... as long as Iran verifiably suspends its enrichment-related and reprocessing activities ...
For their part (the six powers) state their readiness:
- to recognise Iran's right to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes in conformity with its NPT (non-proliferation treaty) obligations."
The package is then divided into a number of areas:
" - Provision of technological and financial assistance necessary for Iran's peaceful use of nuclear energy, support for the resumption of technical cooperation projects in Iran by the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency).
- Support for construction of LWR (Light Water Reactor) based on state-of-the-art technology.
- Support for R&D in nuclear energy as international confidence is gradually restored.
- Provision of legally binding nuclear fuel supply guarantees.
- Cooperation with regard to management of spent fuel and radioactive waste."
" - Support Iran in playing an important and constructive role in international affairs.
- Work with Iran and others in the region to encourage confidence-building measures and regional security.
- Support for a conference on regional security issues.
- Reaffirmation that a solution to the Iranian nuclear issue would contribute to non-proliferation efforts and to realising the objective of a Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction, including their means of delivery.
- Reaffirmation of the obligation under the U.N. charter to refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity of political independence of any state or in any other manner inconsistent with the Charter of the United Nations."
" - Steps towards the normalisation of trade and economic relations, such as improving Iran's access to the international community, markets and capital through practical support for full integration into international structures, including the World Trade Organisation, and to create the framework for increased direct investment in Iran and trade with Iran."
" - Civilian projects in the field of environmental protection, infrastructure, science and technology, and high-tech."
" - Civil aviation cooperation, including the possible removal of restrictions on manufacturers exporting aircraft to Iran."
(Reporting by Parisa Hafezi; compiled by Fredrik Dahl; Editing by Samia Nakhoul)
Source: Reuters North American News Service