WASHINGTON - Iran
is preparing a package which could revitalize long-stalled negotiations over its nuclear program, but which falls short of a complete shutdown of uranium enrichment,
the Wall Street Journal
According to the report, the Iranian proposals include an offer to stop enriching uranium to levels of 20% purity – a demand which Tehran has rejected in the past.
In return Iran will request that the US and European Union
begin scaling back sanctions that have left it largely frozen out of the international financial system and isolated its oil industry.
Iran is also expected to offer to open the country's nuclear facilities to more intrusive international inspections, officials were quoted as saying. It is considering offering the closure of the Fordo underground facility.
Iran's Bushehr reactor (Photo: AFP)
Meanwhile, Iranian parliament speaker Ali Larijani
and former nuclear negotiator told CNN Iran is serious about resolving the dispute over its nuclear program, and is keen to resolve the issue “in a short period of time.”
“From Iran's side, I can say that we are ready,” Larijani said from Geneva.
“If the Americans and other countries say that Iran should not develop a nuclear bomb or should not move towards that,” he told Christiane Amanpour, “then we can clearly show and prove that. We have no such intention. So it can be resolved in a very short period of time.”
Nonetheless, Larijani said, the West must accept Iran’s right to enrich nuclear fuel for civilian purposes, as allowed under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), to which Iran is a signatory.
“If they want to bargain with us or if they have ulterior motives,” he said, “or maybe they want to somehow convince Iran to abandon its nuclear program, then it is going to take a long time.”
On Tuesday, US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel promised Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon
that Iran will not obtain a nuclear weapon.
"Secretary Hagel noted that while the United States intends to test the prospect for a diplomatic solution with Iran we remain clear-eyed about the challenges ahead," Pentagon spokesman George Little said, according to AFP.
The United States "will not waver from our firm policy to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons," he said.
Earlier this week, US Secretary of State John Kerry called on Iran to come up with new proposals ahead of nuclear talks.
- Receive Ynetnews updates
directly to your desktop