Wednesday, June 07, 2006

US Offers Possible Security Assurances to Iran

Khaleej Times Online:
The United States and other world powers have offered possible guarantees for Iran’s ”terroritorial integrity as part of an international proposal designed to resolve the crisis over its disputed nuclear program, ABC television news reported.

The US network’s website cited a draft copy of the “carrots and sticks” package presented to Iran by the United States, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia, which is designed to reward Tehran if it suspends uranium enrichment acitivies.

If Iran addresses concerns over its nuclear program, the proposal holds out the possibility of international support for ”regional security cooperation” involving states in the Gulf region and other “interested countries,” according to the draft copy posted on the ABC News website.

World powers would be ready to support discussions among Iran and countries in the region “with the aim of establishing regional security arrangements and a cooperative relationship on important regional security issues, including guarantees for territorial integrity and poltical sovereignty,” the document states. READ MORE

The US administration has previously declined to grant security guarantees to Iran, which some analysts say could be crucial to defusing the standoff.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said during a visit to Tokyo that his country would “seriously consider” the joint proposal, which includes an offer by Washington to lift some trade sanctions and international help for the acquisition of light-water nuclear reactors.

The four-page document obtained by ABC offers a “fresh start” based on “mutual respect” with the goal of establishing ”international confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme.”

But if Iran refuses the package and continues uranium enrichment work, the document threatens a list of possible penalities.

The punitive measures include freezing Iranian assets abroad, a travel ban on high ranking officials and experts working on the country’s nuclear program, an arms embargo, a scaling back of diplomatic relations by world powers, blocking Tehran’s membership in the World Trade Organization and an embargo on exports of certain products such as refined oil and gas products to Iran.