Germany upbeat on Iran nuclear incentives plan

15th May 2006, Comments 0 comments

15 May 2006, BRUSSELS - A new European package of trade and technical incentives designed to convince Iran to halt its nuclear programme could be ready by the end of the week, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Monday.

15 May 2006

BRUSSELS - A new European package of trade and technical incentives designed to convince Iran to halt its nuclear programme could be ready by the end of the week, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Monday.

The foreign ministers of Germany, Britain and France - the three European Union countries which are spearheading efforts for a diplomatic deal with Tehran - are consulting their other EU colleagues on the issue on Monday.

"We hope that we can finish the package in the course of this week," Steinmeier said, adding: "I hope that in the end there will be some reason left on the side of the Iranian government."

EU foreign and security policy chief Javier Solana told reporters the European offer would include proposals for the transfer of civilian nuclear technology to Iran.

"We're preparing a package for Iran that will be hard for the them to refuse if they really want this kind of energy," Solana said.

"Iran has to decide between international isolation or constructive co-operation," added Austrian Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik.

Iran on Sunday said again again that no Western incentives would be acceptable without acknowledgement of its right to pursue nuclear technology.

But Iranian officials said Tehran would wait to see the package of European incentives and welcomed negotiations although it would not enagage "in any talks surrounded by threats and force."

EU governments also tried last August to persuade Iran to suspend nuclear activities in return for incentives such as membership in the World Trade Organization and purchase of spare parts for civilian airplanes. However, Iran flatly rejected the offer.

UN Security Council members agreed last to postpone work on a draft resolution that would have delivered an ultimatum to Tehran.

After Russia and China balked at a draft resolution that would have invoked the UN charter's Chapter 7, which allows sanctions or military force to settle disputes, the members decided instead to try once again to persuade Iran with incentives to cooperate.

DPA

Subject: German news

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