World Powers in Raw over Proposals to Iran
(FNA)- EU officials said on Tuesday that Group 5+1 (the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany) plans to present two different packages of proposals to Iran in the Baghdad talks on Wednesday, a move signifying a deep rift among the six world powers.
"The Europeans will present a new package to Iran in Baghdad and the package is different from the one proposed by Moscow," EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton's Chief Spokesman Michael Mann told FNA on the eve of a high-profile meeting between Iran and the six world powers.
Moscow has long been working on its step-by-step proposals to Iran and the West to build the two sides' confidence in each other in a gradual manner and now analysts believe that presenting Iran with two different packages of proposals means that the western powers have discarded the Russian proposal.
And this indicates a wide gap among the G5+1 members on how to deal with Iran's nuclear program, analysts added.
Apparently, the western members of the G5+1 have decided to work out a different package of proposals from the Russian package after their meetings in Berlin and Chicago.
Meantime, Mann underlined the positive atmosphere of the talks between Tehran and the world powers, and asserted that the success of the Baghdad negotiations depends on Iran.
The news came after a senior Russian diplomat had said late April that Iran and the western powers have both shown interest in Russia's step-by-step proposal for the settlement of the standoff over Iran's nuclear program.
Russia has been calling for a "step-by-step" resolution to the dispute over Iran's nuclear program.
Moscow has said Iran should take measures to ease concerns about its intentions and comply with UN demands, and in return be rewarded with the gradual easing of sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council and western states.
In a proposal aired in February, Russia said that as a start, Iran could freeze the number of centrifuges for uranium enrichment at current levels and place other restrictions on its centrifuge use. In return, global powers would refrain from imposing new sanctions on Tehran.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said the proposal was discussed at talks in Istanbul on April 14 between Iran and six world powers - Russia, China, the United States, Britain, France and Germany - the first such meeting in over a year. A new round of talks is to be held on May 23 in Baghdad.
Ryabkov said Iran and the western powers indicated they were "interested" in the proposal, which he suggested was one of a number of ideas being discussed by the global powers as they seek to forge a common position among themselves and to find room for progress with Iran.
"We are keeping all our proposals on the negotiating table, but the work now is proceeding in a somewhat different format," said Ryabkov, Russia's representative at the talks.
"We are working in order for the (six powers) to have a consolidated position, and our ideas are given weighty consideration in this regard," he said.