Babylon & Beyond

Observations from Iraq, Iran,
Israel, the Arab world and beyond

« Previous Post | Babylon & Beyond Home | Next Post »

IRAN: Package detailed for Tehran to stop nuclear enrichment

June 14, 2008 |  2:57 pm

Solana2_3European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana in Tehran today presented the Iranians with a sweetened package of economic, political and security incentives for Iran to give up its controversial program to enrich uranium.

The E.U., the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and Germany made Iran a similar offer two years ago. Iranian officials denounced the offer as "insulting" and not worthy of a response, characterizing it as offering Iran little in exchange for halting its coveted enrichment program.

Many of those who crafted the package feel Iranians characterized it unjustly. This time around, Solana took no chances.

Appearing slightly tense and worn, he staged a showy press conference at the residence of the German ambassador to Tehran. Before the assembled reporters, he delivered an impassioned speech (DOC) urging Iranian cooperation, which was simultaneously translated into Farsi.

He said the international community was ready to stop treating Iran like a pariah and recognize Iran's right to have nuclear power, if Tehran halts its enrichment activities:

We are ready to cooperate with Iran in the development of a modern nuclear energy program based on the most modern generation of light-water reactors. We offer legally binding fuel supply guarantees, or to work together in designing a system to provide these fuel guarantees. We can help Iran with the management of nuclear waste. We can support Iranian research and development, including in the nuclear field once confidence is being restored. If we can settle the core issue, the nuclear program, the door would be open to cooperation in many other areas.

So there could be little misinterpretation, Solana handed out English and Farsi copies of both the latest package of incentives (PDF) and a letter urging cooperation (PDF) to Iranian foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki. It was signed by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and by the foreign ministers of Russia, China, Great Britain, France and Germany, as well as Solana.

Immediately, analysts began comparing the 2006 package of incentives (PDF) rejected by Iran to the 2008 package (PDF) submitted today.

— Borzou Daragahi in Beirut

Photo: EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana holds a news conference at the residence of the German ambassador to Iran Saturday in Tehran.

Photo credit: Hasan Sarbakhshian / Associated Press

Comments 

Advertisement