EU diplomat proposes deal with Iran to drop NPT Article IV.1

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Tuesday, June 6, 2006

The European Union's head diplomat Javier Solana has offered Iran a number of benefits to persuade the oil-rich state to drop some of its rights under Article IV.1 of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, i.e. stop an uranium enrichment program.

During the two hour meeting in the Iranian capital Solana is thought to have offered help to build Iran's nuclear generators and supply fuel for the northern Persian Gulf state's energy needs.

Azadi Square is currently the symbol of Tehran.

This main offer may have been accompanied by a number of sweeteners such as the offer of European Airbus airplanes and United States relaxation of the trade of Boeing aircraft parts with Iran.

The proposal the European emissary carried had previously been seen by Security Council powers United States, China, Britain, Russia, France and also Germany. Were Iran to reject the Solana offer the United Nations Security Council sanctions could be used to stop Iran's nuclear program.

"Larijani said Iran will study the package, clause by clause, and respond," said an unnamed official who knows Ali Larjani, Iran's chief nuclear negotiator.

However there were also some "ambiguities" to resolve, said Larjani himself.

Iran has noted several times that as party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the country can enrich uranium for peaceful needs, such as for the production of electricity.

But a move to enrich uranium on a larger-scale, such as a plan for 3,000 centrifuges by the end of 2006, might lead American officials to say Iran could have the potential to get a nuclear weapon within ten years.

While Iran's head of state, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei recently warned about the disruption of oil supplies if Iran was attacked, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is said to be considering the newest package on the table.

'We have two options - one is cooperation, the other is confrontation,' said the Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki.