No breakthrough in n-dispute after Solana’s Iran visit (Lead)June 15th, 2008 - 1:23 am ICT by IANS
Tehran, June 14 (DPA) European Union (EU) foreign policy chief Javier Solana Saturday gave Iran an updated package of incentives by the five veto powers plus Germany (5+1) but achieved no breakthrough in the dispute over Iran’s nuclear programme. “We (EU) are willing to fully normalise our ties with Iran but we continue our demand for suspension (of uranium enrichment by Iran),”
Solana said at a press conference at the residence of German Ambassador to Tehran, Herbert Honsowitz.
The Iranian side showed the same uncompromising stance.
“We are ready for negotiations in several fields but both the Iranian government and people insist on their legitimate (nuclear) rights,” state television quoted Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki as telling Solana.
Solana had earlier Saturday delivered to Mottaki the 5+1 package to persuade the Islamic state to follow international demands and stop uranium enrichment.
“A country which has no nuclear power plant yet needs no uranium enrichment, either. You (Iran) must understand that this is cause for serious security concern,” Solana said.
“We need trust and confidence to be built with Iran. A settlement (of the nuclear dispute) would both benefit us (West) and the Iranian people,” he added.
The new incentives include Western cooperation with Iran on constructing light-water reactors, supply of nuclear fuel, removal of nuclear waste as well as normalising political relations with the EU and readiness to cooperate with Iran to settle the crisis in the Middle East and Afghanistan.
The package also includes cooperation in the fields of agriculture, education, civil aviation and national disasters.
Iran last month presented Solana and the 5+1 its own package which includes a number of topics on dealing with global crises but the rather vague package did not find international attention as it did not mention the main international demand of enrichment suspension.
Mottaki had earlier indicated that a mix of the Iranian and the 5+1 package could lead to some progress. He gave no details what this mix might look like.
Solana said he has already received and “taken a look into” the Iranian proposal and found some compatibilities with the proposals in the Western package but still he insisted that suspension of the enrichment course should be effected in the first place.
Iranian government spokesman Gholam-Hossein Elham said on state television that if the 5+1 package contained suspension of uranium enrichment, then Tehran would flatly reject it.
Elham said Iran was only following its rights as signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and could therefore expected to be treated by the West with respect and not threats and ultimatums.
Solana also met Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Saeid Jalili and it is said that the two sides have at least agreed to remain in contact and continue talks although no fixed schedule has yet been set.
Also, Jalili has reportedly proposed the same as Mottaki about mixing the two packages and continue cooperation on the basis of the two sides’ proposals.
The Fars news agency quoted an unnamed source as saying that Solana and Jalili have opened a “new channel” without however referring to the main disagreement on whether Iran would suspend the enrichment course or not.
Solana Friday had described the package as “a generous and comprehensive offer” to Iran which showed the desire of the EU and the 5+1 “to develop a constructive and cooperative relationship with Iran in the nuclear field and in many other areas”.
The EU foreign policy chief is accompanied by the foreign ministry political directors of the UN Security Council member states of Britain, China, France, Russia as well as German foreign ministry official Volker Stanzel.