- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 6, 2006

1:22 p.m.

TEHRAN — World powers today gave Iran a package of incentives that includes U.S. nuclear technology to persuade Tehran to curb its uranium enrichment program, and the Islamic republic’s initial reaction was relatively upbeat.

Speaking on state television after receiving the proposals, top Iranian nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani said the initiative contains “positive steps” but also some “ambiguities.”

Mr. Larijani, who met with European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana, called the talks “constructive” and said Iran would respond after studying the incentives.

Diplomats told Associated Press that the package includes a provision for the United States to supply Tehran with some nuclear technology if it stops enriching uranium — a major concession by Washington.

The diplomats, who were familiar with the proposals, spoke to AP on condition of anonymity because they were disclosing confidential details of the offer.

The incentives package offers other economic and political rewards but also contains the implicit threat of U.N. sanctions if Iran remains defiant.

In a major development last week, the United States agreed to join in multinational talks on the package.

Details of the proposals have not been made public, but an early draft indicated that if Iran agrees to abandon uranium enrichment, the world would offer it help in building nuclear reactors, a guaranteed supply of nuclear fuel and European Airbus aircraft.

The European offer of light-water reactors meant for civilian nuclear energy purposes was revealed last month, but there had been no previous suggestion that the Americans would agree to help build Iran’s civilian nuclear program if Tehran freezes enrichment and agrees to negotiations.

The United States also reportedly sweetened the offer by saying it would lift some bilateral sanctions on Iran, such as a ban on sales of Boeing passenger aircraft and related parts.

Iran’s commercial airline fleet is made up largely of aging Boeings purchased before the 1979 revolution. It frequently complains that the U.S. ban on parts has undermined safety and blamed the ban for several deadly crashes in the past. U.S. pressure has also prevented Iranian attempts to purchase new Airbus aircraft.

The package was drawn up Friday in Vienna by the United States along with the four other veto-wielding members of the U.N. Security Council — Britain, France, Russia and China — plus Germany.

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