Iran Presents New Nuclear Proposal
09 September 2009
Iran's foreign minister has turned in his country's new nuclear program proposal to the U.N. Security Council's leading nations. Details of the proposal have yet to be released, but the U.S. envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency says Iran is getting closer to making a nuclear bomb.
|Manouchehr Mottaki (R) gives documents to (from L) Swiss diplomat Livia Leu Agosti, Russian envoy Alexander Sadovikov and French ambassador to Iran, at Foreign Ministry in Tehran, 09 Sep 2009|
It was a picture-perfect moment. In an attempt to spur nuclear talks, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki presented a package to the ambassadors of leading world powers in Tehran. But, one heavyweight world power was missing.
The United States, which does not have official diplomatic relations with Iran. But U.S. President Barack Obama has called for Iran to discuss its disputed nuclear program with world powers by the end of September.
Iran's ambassador to the U.N. nuclear agency, Aliasghar Soltanieh, says the proposal contains compromises on security, economic and nuclear issues. He says Iran would like to hold a new round of talks within the framework of the presented proposal.
But senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, Suzanne Maloney, says although the proposal has not been released, it is unlikely to be a big first step toward serious negotiations.
"At this point there is very little reason for great confidence that it is likely to be a proposal that will meet with the approval of Washington or more broadly the international community," said Suzanne Maloney,
Earlier, a statement from the U.S. envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Glyn Davies, said Iran's atomic work is nearing a "dangerous and destabilizing" position.
|Glyn Davies, US Ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency, is seen prior to the start of the IAEA's board meeting, in Vienna, Austria, 07 Sep 2009|
Maloney says if she were to advise President Obama, she would tell him to stay clear of such combative rhetoric and focus on diplomacy.
"At this stage what the Obama administration needs to focus on is trying to gauge if there is any tractability within Iran for a negotiating process," she said.
But Maloney warns not to be overly optimistic.
"One always hopes that there could be something of a starting place for some kind of diplomatic process between Iran and the diplomatic community," said Maloney. "But previous Iranian proposals have not provided such a starting place."
World leaders are to discuss the issue at the end of September, when the leaders of the world's largest economies hold the G20 summit in Pittsburgh.