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No early Iran reply on incentives

Plan would support civil nuclear energy program

U.S. President George W. Bush and German Chancellor Angela Merkel discussed Iran in Germany Thursday.


Nuclear policies

NEW YORK (CNN) -- As the Group of Eight summit in Russia approaches, Iran apparently will miss a hoped-for deadline to respond to draft incentives aimed at persuading it to suspend its uranium enrichment program.

CNN obtained a full copy Thursday of the incentives, which were developed by the five permanent U.N. Security Council members -- the United States, China, France, Russia and Britain (known as the P5) -- and Germany.

The meeting of eight industrial nations begins this weekend in St. Petersburg, Russia, and for weeks there has been international pressure for Iran to react to the proposed package by the time it convenes.

But Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said he does not plan to respond to the draft until August 22.

After unsuccessful talks on Tuesday between top Iranian nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani and European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana, the P5 and Germany on Wednesday sent the Iran issue to the U.N. Security Council. That could lead to possible sanctions.

Among the incentives in the draft are offers to improve Iran's access to the international economy through participation in groups such as the World Trade Organization, and to modernize its telecommunications industry.

The incentives also mention the possibility of lifting restrictions on U.S. and European manufacturers wanting to export civil aircraft to Iran.

'Fresh start'

Under a proposed long-term agreement accompanying the incentives, the P5 plus Germany propose a "fresh start in negotiations." The agreement would be filed with the IAEA and endorsed in a Security Council resolution.

As a framework for the talks, the countries would support a civil nuclear energy program in Iran and the construction of new light water power reactors, which use ordinary water as a coolant.

However, the assurances would come only if Iran agrees to participate in an international facility in Russia to provide enrichment services for a reliable supply of fuel to Iran's nuclear reactors.

While Iran argues it has a right to nuclear technology under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty to generate power, there is increasing global concern that Tehran wants to enrich uranium to weapons-grade levels for use in the fissile core of nuclear warheads.

No agreement

The meeting between Iran's Ali Larijani and the EU's Javier Solana ended Tuesday with no agreement, prompting the P5 plus Germany's move Wednesday to send the matter to the Security Council.

Because of Tehran's unwillingness to negotiate on the nuclear issue, the six nations are presenting Iran to the council for possible sanctions, French Foreign Minister Phillippe Douste-Blazy said Wednesday.

He said the six nations agreed to pursue a resolution requiring Iran to cease uranium enrichment. Work on a resolution was suspended May 3 to allow the powers to draw up the plan of perks if Iran agrees to a long-term moratorium on enrichment -- or punishments that include the threat of selective U.N. sanctions if it doesn't.

That resolution could be produced within days, according to Emyr Jones Parry, British ambassador to the United Nations, with a goal of beginning discussion next week.

"The Iranians have given no indication at all that they are ready to engage seriously on the substance of our proposals," Douste-Blazy said.

"Iran has failed to take the steps needed to allow negotiations to begin, specifically the suspension of all enrichment-related activities, as required by the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency)."

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