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Iran Must Prove Nuclear Work Peaceful Say Nuclear Superpowers

British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett (pictured) described the text as "a basis for discussion with Iran."
by Staff Writers
Vienna (AFP) Jun 14, 2006
The incentives deal offered by world powers to Iran last week stipulates that Tehran has to suspend uranium enrichment until its nuclear activities are proven to be peaceful, according to a copy of the confidential text shown to AFP Tuesday.

The text, delivered to Iran on June 6 but kept secret, calls for a moratorium on enrichment until the UN atomic agency verifies "that all outstanding issues and concerns reported by the IAEA, including those activities which could have a military nuclear dimension, have been resolved."

Such verification could take years, perhaps decades, experts say. Iran refuses to suspend uranium enrichment, which makes reactor fuel but also the core material of an atom bomb, and says its nuclear program is strictly peaceful.

Previous media reports had suggested that the text had called for a suspension on enrichment only for the duration of talks on the incentives package.

European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana handed the proposal, which offers substantial trade, security and technology benefits, to Iran's top national security official, Ali Larijani.

The text also did not include a list of sanctions to be imposed if Iran failed to comply. Those potential sanctions had, however, been included in an earlier draft version seen by AFP.

"We only handed over the positive part. The idea was not to give Iran a pretext to turn the proposal down," a European diplomat close to the Vienna-based IAEA said.

The nuclear deal was offered by the five UN Security Council permanent members -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States -- and Germany, and seeks to allay fears that Iran is seeking to develop nuclear weapons.

After their agreement on the proposal on June 1 in Vienna, British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett described the text as "a basis for discussion with Iran."

Speaking for the six nations, she said that if Tehran complied the West would suspend action in the United Nations Security Council but that if it failed to comply "further steps would have to be taken" in the Council, which can impose sanctions.

She did not however reveal any details of the proposal, as officials said Iran was to be given time to consider the offer without it being made public.

"We urge Iran to take the positive path and to consider seriously our substantive proposals which would bring significant benefits to Iran," Beckett said at the time.

The text seen by AFP says: "We propose a fresh start in negotiations of a comprehensive agreement between Iran and the E3/EU (Britain, France and Germany), with the support of (China), Russia and the United States and other members of the international community."

Benefits for Iran include "the building of new light water reactors in Iran through international joint projects" and reaffirming "Iran's right to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes."

Iran would also get "advanced technology to make its power reactors safe against earthquakes," a new element that was not in the draft proposal.

The deal also proposed that United States would lift trade sanctions against Iran concerning civil aviation, "thereby widening the prospect of Iran renewing its fleet of civil airliners," as well as "Iran's telecommunication infrastructure and advanced Internet provision."

The package would also open the door to "support for agricultural development in Iran, including possible access to US and European agricultural products, technology and farm equipment," the text said.

Washington, which considers Iran a sponsor of terrorism and now fears it is covertly developing nuclear weapons, has since the mid-1990s banned most US trade and investment with the Islamic republic.

The proposal said Iran would have to "suspend all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities" to start talks, as well as allow for "wider inspections (by the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency) under an Additional Protocol to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty."

This suspension would then turn into a moratorium once talks had concluded, and would stay in effect until the IAEA had certified that military questions had been resolved and "that there are no undeclared nuclear activities or materials in Iran and that international confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran's civil nuclear program had been restored," according to the text.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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