Iran softens on nuclear proposals

19 June 2006

Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has welcomed a package of incentives offered to resolve the dispute over its nuclear programme as “a step forward.” The move comes despite hard-line rhetoric from some influential figures that has dogged talks between the Islamic republic and the EU3 of France, Germany and the UK along with the USA.

President Ahmadinejad is understood to have instructed the government to consider the offer, thought to include light water reactor technology, fuel and security guarantees, and financial incentives, in exchange for the suspension of its uranium enrichment programme.

The package, which followed an offer of direct talks with the USA, is also thought to offer the possibility of a future enrichment programme for Iran if it satisfies stringent international standards.

Ahmadinejad’s comments came on a recent visit to China, one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council which tabled the deal. He added that Iran would formally respond to the offer “in due time.”

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