Monday, June 05, 2006

Iran incentives to include Boeing parts - report

Incentives to be offered on Tuesday to Iran aimed at resolving the Islamic Republic's nuclear confrontation with the West include a proposal to allow Tehran to purchase aircraft parts from Boeing Co. and Airbus, the New York Times reported on Monday.

The incentives, to be presented to Iran by European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana, will include proposals to waive trade sanctions to allow Iran to upgrade its aging aircraft fleet as well as purchase U.S. agricultural technology, according to the report. READ MORE

The five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States -- plus Germany agreed on the package of incentives last week in Vienna, the Times said, citing European diplomats and a senior Bush administration official, speaking anonymously.

As widely expected, the offer includes a commitment from the six nations to support Iran's plan for a civilian nuclear energy program, including joint projects to build light-water nuclear reactions.

The six nations also agreed to back Iran's membership in the World Trade Organization, the newspaper reported.

The report characterized the decision to include the sale of aircraft parts from Boeing (BA.N: Quote, Profile, Research) and Airbus (EAD.PA: Quote, Profile, Research) as "a huge step, particularly for the United States."

Iran has been subject to American sanctions that hinder the purchase of spare parts for nearly all the planes of civilian carrier Iran Air and its air force since its 1979 Islamic revolution.

The offers are contingent on an agreement by Iran to suspend its uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities.

The package does not, however, include any specific threat of military action should Iran refuse to suspend those activities, the Times report said.