June 3, 2006

EU’s Solana set to take nuclear offer to Iran

By Christian Oliver

TEHRAN (Reuters) - European Union foreign policy chief
Javier Solana will soon present Iran with the incentives agreed
by major powers to try to persuade Tehran to end nuclear fuel
development, his spokeswoman said on Saturday.

Iran said the plan might offer a way forward, but insisted
it would not give up uranium enrichment -- which the West is
demanding as proof that it is not developing nuclear weapons.

The incentives were agreed on Thursday by the permanent
members of the U.N. Security Council -- the United States,
Russia, Britain, France, China -- plus Germany.

Solana's spokeswoman, Cristina Gallach, and Iranian Foreign
Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said no date had been set for the
trip. However, Solana plans to be in the Middle East on Sunday
and on Monday.

The incentives being offered by the six powers were still
unknown, but their diplomats have been working on themes
ranging from offering nuclear reactors to giving security

"We believe if ... there's goodwill then there's a
possibility that our ideas may complete the proposal and give
them (Westerners) a way out of the situation they have created
for themselves," Mottaki said on state television.

However, he added: "The main pillar of the talks is that
they should be free from preconditions."

Iranian politicians habitually use the word "precondition"
for demands that Iran end its fuel work. Mottaki and President
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have said there is no question of this,
insisting on a right to make fuel for power generation.

Ahmadinejad on Friday night told U.N. Secretary-General
Kofi Annan that Iran was willing to negotiate on nuclear issues
as long as talks had no "preconditions of threats," state media

Washington says this must not be seen as a final rejection,
and that Iran could be staking out a negotiating position.

Iran has a labyrinthine command structure and comments from
the president and the foreign minister may not be the last word
on political matters.

Iran's main authority is Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali
Khamenei and the Supreme National Security Council, headed by
chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani, is directly charged with
handling the nuclear dispute.

Analysts see the proposals from the world powers and a rare
U.S. offer to enter into direct talks with Iran as attempts to
build a united diplomatic front for possible later action in
the U.N. Security Council, which has the power to impose