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Iran ‘calls’ for global peace as West urges nuclear talks

Mottaki

As the European Union’s foreign policy chief calls for an urgent meeting on Iran’s nuclear program, a purported facsimile of Tehran’s latest package of proposals surfaces on the Internet.

According to the 5-page document, which is yet to be authenticated by Iranian authorities, Iran blames many of the ills of the world — the economic crisis, insecurity and terrorism — on the “ungodly ways of thinking prevailing in the global relations.”

“The existing mechanisms are not capable to meet the present needs of humankind,” reads the letter, which contends that what the world needs is “mechanisms that come from divine and godly thinking.”

The letter, meanwhile, declares Tehran’s readiness to negotiate with the West to secure “stability in the region and beyond.”

Among the prerequisites for “lasting peace,” Iran names “recognition of the rights of nations, respect for sovereignty and principles of democracy and the right of people to have free elections … without pressure or threats.”

To ensure successful negotiations, the letter suggests learning from “past mistakes” instead of “insisting on futile and pointless paths that have proven to be of no avail.”

While the letter does not directly provide a new ground for negotiations on Iran’s disputed nuclear program, the West had expected Tehran to address the issue in the much-awaited package.

This comes as after Iranian foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki presented the package to representatives of the 5+1 group, Ali Asghar Soltaniyeh, Tehran’s envoy to the IAEA, said the country was ready for logical talks on “various issues such as enabling all states to benefit from nuclear energy and preventing the spread of atomic weapons, but these talks can not include discussions on Iran’s legal nuclear activities.”

The letter describes three “axes” of any future negotiations: “Political-security, international and economic.”

Among the political issues are “protecting human dignity,” and “promotion of democracy and enhancement of prosperity of nations,” as well as a call to “help the people of Palestine.”

The international issues that could be on the agenda include “reform of the United Nations and the Security Council” and “elevating the weight and position of environmental issues,” as well as “promoting a rule-based and equitable oversight function of the IAEA.”

It also calls for “global resolve” to move towards “complete disarmament and preventing development and proliferation of nuclear, chemical and microbial weapons.”

In response to the package, which was presented on Wednesday, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said the offer was “being evaluated.”

A spokesman for the US State Department, P.J. Crowley, however, said the proposal “was not really responsive to our greatest concern, which is obviously Iran’s nuclear program.” Nevertheless, he said that the US remained “willing to engage Iran.”

At the same time, an unnamed French diplomat was quoted by AFP as saying that “there’s nothing in the new document about suspending uranium enrichment,” — a key stance in West’s approach toward the Iranian case.

Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said “there is something to dig into” in Tehran’s proposal.

The West has been pressing for Iran to halt its indigenous uranium enrichment, claiming that it gives Iran the option of producing nuclear weapons.

However, Iran says its intentions are entirely peaceful and, as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, it has the right to produce low-enriched uranium for generation of electricity.

On Friday, Javier Solana, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, said he was seeking an urgent meeting with the Iranian chief nuclear negotiator after consulting six major powers over the proposals.

“We are in contact with Dr (Saeed) Jalili’s (Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator) office to arrange a meeting at the earliest possible opportunity,” Solana said in a statement, Reuters reported.

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