Iran, World Powers Make Proposals as Meetings Continue

Representatives of the P5+1 and Iran met to discuss the latter’s nuclear program on Wednesday, with both sides presenting steps for moving forward towards resolving the dispute. The Fars News Agency reported Iran offered the global group—the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, China and Germany—a “comprehensive package of step-by-step proposals” covering cooperation in nuclear and non-nuclear matters.

The Americans, meanwhile, said the P5+1 had presented their own offer to the Iranians. US spokesperson Victoria Nuland, in comments to reporters released by the State Department, said the plan offers “confidence-building” steps.

Nuland was quoted as saying their side “put forward a detailed proposal which includes confidence-building measures that can pave the way for Iran to demonstrate that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.”

She said the plan would include reciprocal steps taken by the world powers aimed at “near-term action” should Iran move forward in the plan. She refused to go into detail about the proposal, including how international sanctions on Iran would be handled in the offer.

“This is a package of first steps, so Iran would take some steps and then we would take some steps. We will see how Iran reacts to that proposal.”

While Nuland said the US would be “delighted” if Iran cooperated fully on their nuclear program, she acknowledged that the offer on Thursday was aimed at moving in that direction. She was unsure how long this process could take.

“We have to see how the talks go today. Obviously the sooner Iran can restore the confidence of the international community in its intent, the sooner we can take steps of our own,” said Nuland.

Though the process could play out over time, the Iranians are interested in getting an answer from the P5+1 quickly. Fars paraphrased the Iranian deputy negotiator as telling his counterpart they want a “swift and explicit response” response to the Iran offer. He also shared Iran’s desired changes to the P5+1 offer.

(By Staff,, May 23, 2012)