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Solana Meets with Iran's Top Nuclear Negotiator
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The EU foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, met with Iran's top nuclear negotiator Ali Larijanion yesterday to present Iran the new six-nation proposal over the disputed nuclear issue.


Solana held the meeting with Larijani in the building of the Supreme National Security Council in central Tehran. 


Solana arrived in Tehran on Monday night, carrying a new six-nation package that contains economic and political incentives, including talks with the US, to encourage Tehran to abandon uranium enrichment, and also the implicit threat of UN sanctions if Iran doesn't comply.  


He told reporters at the airport as he arrived that the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany want to start a fresh relationship with Iran on the basis of mutual respect and mutual trust.


"The new proposal could let us be engaged in negotiations based on trust, confidence and respect," said Solana.


Larijani said the new proposal contains "positive steps" and "ambiguities."


"We had more than two hours of talks and the talks were good. We will study these proposals and then give a formal response," Larijani was quoted by the state television as saying after his two-hour meeting with Solana.


"We can see there are some positive steps in the new proposal, but it also contains some ambiguities," he said.


"We welcome the European will to resolve the issue through dialogues and the two sides should have more negotiations again after our careful study over the proposal," he added.


Details of the proposals have not been made public, but the package may include that the West would help Iran build nuclear reactors, give a guaranteed supply of nuclear fuel, and offer the country European Airbus aircraft, if Tehran suspends nuclear program first, according to an early draft.


But Iran has repeatedly claimed that it would never halt the uranium enrichment activities.


A few hours before Solana's arrival, Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said at the airport that his country would examine the new proposal carried by the EU foreign policy chief and then give a formal response.


"If they can consider Iran's legal nuclear demands and don't politicize the issue, I think we could have an reasonable agreement with them," said Mottaki.


Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also reasserted on the weekend during a telephone conversation with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan that Iran is ready to hold talks on the nuclear program, adding that Iran prefers the negotiations to be held democratically without any precondition or any threat.


The US and European countries claim that Iran is using its civilian nuclear program as a cover to produce nuclear weapons.


Tehran has repeatedly denied the charge, saying its nuclear program is merely to generate electricity, not bombs.


Iran repeatedly says that it will not give up its right under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to enriching uranium and producing nuclear fuel for power plant.


(Xinhua News Agency June 7, 2006)


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