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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

EU Proposal Ready for Iran Nuclear Talks, Solana Says

European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana said he has a new offer ready for Iran as part of the effort to convince the country to halt nuclear enrichment.

``We have worked on another proposal and that is finished,'' Solana told reporters before a meeting of European Union foreign ministers in Brussels today. ``I would like very much to send it.''

The incentive package, the latest step in three years of nuclear negotiations with Iran, is a revised version of one that Solana presented to the Iranians in 2006. The original offer included a pledge to provide Iran with enriched uranium for power stations in exchange for suspension of its own enrichment efforts.

Iran says its nuclear program is needed to produce fuel for power stations, while the U.S. and its allies allege the project is being used as cover for the development of an atomic weapon.

The U.S., U.K., France, Russia and China, along with Germany, have already agreed on the new proposals, though they haven't been made public.

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said last week that his government has agreed to a trip by Solana to Iran to deliver the package. After the EU meeting today, Solana said that he hopes to make the trip within a month.

The United Nations Security Council has imposed three rounds of sanctions against Iran since 2006 in order to pressure the country into stopping enrichment.

(Source: Bloomberg)

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