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Major Powers Finish Nuclear Incentives Offer for Iran


The U.S. State Department said Friday major world powers have completed work on a new package of incentives aimed at getting Iran to stop uranium enrichment. But the United States will not be part of the delegation delivering the plan to Tehran. VOA's David Gollust reports from the State Department.

Officials here say the permanent U.N. Security Council member countries and Germany, the P-5+1, have finished the details of a revised incentive package and are ready to send it on to Tehran.

However they say the United States will not have a direct role in delivering the offer, in keeping with the Bush administration's refusal to deal with the Iranian government while it continues its enrichment effort.

P-5+1 foreign ministers including Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice agreed in principle on what is termed the refreshed incentives package at a London meeting earlier this month.

It is part of a two-track strategy of offering Tehran benefits to suspend enrichment, in tandem with pursuing U.N. Security Council sanctions aimed at forcing Iran to do so.

The Russian foreign ministry said Friday it hoped that deputy foreign ministers from all six major powers would join European Union chief diplomat Javier Solana in presenting the revised plan to Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki in Tehran soon.

But State Department Spokesman Sean McCormack said the United States will not be part of such a mission unless Iran agrees in advance to halt enrichment as demanded by the U.N. Security Council.

"If Iran suddenly has change of tune and says that they will meet the demands of the international community, which are expressed in U.N. Security Council resolutions to suspend their enrichment and reprocessing related activities, then you might have the possibility of a different kind of conversation, which Secretary Rice has outlined over and over again. Absent that, the United States will not have a representative at the meeting we've just discussed," he said.

Rice has said she is willing to meet her Iranian counterpart in any venue and discuss any subject provided Iran heeds the U.N. enrichment demands.

The two countries have not had diplomatic relations since after Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution, though their diplomats have held a few meetings since last year in Baghdad limited to Iraqi security issues.

The six powers have not revealed terms of their revised incentives package, though it is understood to build on the previous offer of various diplomatic and economic benefits, including an offer of help for an Iranian civil nuclear power program.

Iran says its nuclear program including the enrichment effort is for peaceful purposes. But Rice and other Bush administration officials say they strongly believe Iran is seeking a nuclear weapons capability.

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