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Iran nuclear deadlock hard to break up
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EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, listens to a journalist's question at a news conference at residency of German's Ambassador in Tehran on Saturday June 14, 2008.(Xinhua Photo)

The stalemate surrounding Iran's nuclear issue seems to remain hard to break up although an updated package of incentives offered by six major world powers Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States was handed over to Iranian officials by EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana on Saturday.

New package of incentives

The new package based on the proposals presented to Iran in June 2006 was given to reporters after a news conference Saturday afternoon in Tehran which still calls for suspension of enrichment-related and reprocessing activities of Iran in order to start negotiations.

Iran's semi-official Mehr News Agency said that no fresh points appeared in the new package which just replaced the direct requirement for enrichment halt by demanding implement of UN Security Council Resolution 1803.

In the package, six major powers stated their readiness to treat Iran's nuclear program in the same manner as that of any Non-nuclear Weapon State Party to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) once international confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear program is restored, what local analyst called a "play of words".

The package presented possible cooperation between the two sides in nuclear energy such as provision of technological and financial assistance necessary for Iran's peaceful use of nuclear energy and support for the resumption of technical cooperation projects in Iran by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Other economic cooperation also mentioned in the package, including some possible removal of restrictions such as exporting aircraft to Iran and improving Iran's access to the international economy.

Local analysts said that the Islamic Republic will not be interested in negotiations at various levels with the EU, which does not want to drop the demand for suspension of uranium enrichment from its discussions with Tehran.

Nuclear affairs analyst Alireza Akbari argues that suspending uranium enrichment will not resolve the long-running standoff between the West and Tehran, saying that the Western powers' insistence that enrichment be frozen is a "waste of time and energy".

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