Iran Nuclear NewsIran seeks details on nuclear offer

Iran seeks details on nuclear offer

-

ImageWashington Post : The Iranian government said Tuesday that it is ready to respond to an incentives package that the United States and five other world powers have offered in exchange for suspension of its uranium-enrichment program. But Iran insisted that the big powers "simultaneously" provide a more detailed explanation of the offer, a formula that may lead to drawn-out talks.

The Washington Post

Western Countries Say That Tehran's Response Is Evasive

By Colum Lynch and Karen DeYoung
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, August 6, 2008; Page A06

ImageUNITED NATIONS, Aug. 5 — The Iranian government said Tuesday that it is ready to respond to an incentives package that the United States and five other world powers have offered in exchange for suspension of its uranium-enrichment program. But Iran insisted that the big powers "simultaneously" provide a more detailed explanation of the offer, a formula that may lead to drawn-out talks.

Iran's position was outlined in a statement its chief nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, sent Tuesday to European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana. The statement, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Post, said that "such mutual clarification can pave the way for a speedy and transparent negotiating process with a bright prospect."

"The Republic of Iran is ready to provide a 'clear response' to your proposal at the earliest possibility, while simultaneously expecting to receive your 'clear response' to our questions and ambiguities as well," the statement said. "The second phase of negotiations can commence as early as possible, if there is such willingness."

Iran's response fell short of demands by the United States, Britain and France that Tehran immediately accept the offer or face new sanctions. U.S. and European officials characterized Tehran's reaction as evasive.

"Our offer is clear, and their response is not clear," said Ric Grenell, spokesman for the U.S. mission to the United Nations. "The Iranian government needs to respond in a very clear way to the generous offer [from] the international community."

One European official said: "It's a stalling tactic, reiterating that they have goodwill but not answering the exam question." But the official suggested that Iran's response — which seemed to favor further negotiations — was probably positive enough to complicate Western efforts to secure U.N. support for a new sanctions resolution. "To be fair to the Iranians, they do this kind of thing rather well," the official said.

The U.N. Security Council has been pressing Iran since March 2006 to suspend its enrichment of uranium and begin talks over the future of its nuclear program. It has already imposed three rounds of sanctions against Iran for not doing so.

Iran insists that it is not pursuing nuclear weapons and that the 15-nation council has no right to prevent it from enriching uranium for a nuclear energy program. Tehran has approved a visit Thursday by a senior International Atomic Energy Agency official, Olli Heinonen, who monitors Iran's nuclear program, according to Reuters.

In June, the five permanent members of the Security Council — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States — as well as Germany, offered sweeteners to an existing offer of economic, political and security incentives to Iran. Frustrated by a lack of response, they met with Jalili on July 19, and gave Tehran two weeks to answer. Solana led the team, which included U.S. Undersecretary of State William J. Burns.

The United States, Britain and France warned Monday — two days after the deadline expired — that they would press for additional sanctions against Iran if it did not respond positively and unambiguously to the offer. The six powers will hold a conference call Wednesday to consider their response to the statement. But they remain divided, with China and Russia reluctant to support tough sanctions.

"I don't see any reason to believe that the Russians and the Chinese are any more willing today to support really tougher sanctions against Iran," said Flynt Leverett, a senior fellow at the New America Foundation and former Bush National Security Council staffer.

DeYoung reported from Washington.

Latest news

Iran’s Youths Broke the Spell of Fear

One of the main characteristics of the recent protests in Iran is the courage and fearlessness of the people,...

Iran Is on the Brink of a Revolution

The wall of fear has been broken. In many cities across Iran, women are taking to the streets, leading...

Iran’s Regime Claims To Fill Global Energy Gap Despite Crippled Petroleum Sector

In recent weeks, the Iranian regime’s officials have been constantly exaggerating their huge capacity in oil and gas reserves...

What Is Happening in Iran?

Following the brutal killing of Masha Amini, the Iranian people have once again united to fight and defeat the...

Iran Regime’s Ministry of Culture’s Decision To Eliminate Children’s Intellectual Centers

With the so-called ‘Cultural Revolution’ which took place between 1980 and 1983, the Iranian regime tried to purge the...

Water Shortage Crisis and the Destruction of Iran’s Water Resources

Iran is currently suffering from a number of dangerous natural disasters. One of the most worrying is the drying...

Must read

Euro-MPs reject Iran’s Rafsanjani as “return to ominous past”

Iran Focus: Strasbourg, Jun. 10 – Dozens of Euro-MPs...

Russia opening Iran nuclear plant helps bid to be power broker

Bloomberg: Russia will switch on Iran’s first nuclear power...

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you