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Iran must be offered comprehensive package, say former US aides

London, March 9, IRNA - Two former aides to the administration of George W Bush's father called Wednesday for the US, EU and Russia to make an offer Iran cannot refuse in the interests of all nations of the world.

"Europe, Russia and the US should therefore back a comprehensive package that offers significant security and economic benefits," said former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft and member of the National Security Council Daniel Poneman.

This, they suggested, should be in return "for a verifiable Iranian commitment, at a minimum, to halt all activities that could enhance nuclear weapon capabilities."

"If it complies, it should be offered cradle-to-grave fuel services for any Iranian nuclear power plant in perpetuity, on attractive terms," the two former US aides proposed.

In an article for the Financial Times Wednesday, they argued that such a solution "offers something to everyone."

"The US will reduce the risks of Iranian action against its interests. Europe will increase trade and energy security. Russia will open the door to increased nuclear co-operation with the US," Scowcroft and Poneman said.

They said that also "Iran will increase its security and trade. And the world will avoid cascading proliferation in the Middle East."

But the two former officials equally warned that such an approach "requires seamless integration of positions among the governments concerned."

"If Europe only offers incentives and the US only threats, Iran is likely to conclude that it can continue to play one against the other, or that any deal will not stick," they said.

The coalition, the former national security advisers said, also should make it clear that, "if Iran refused such an offer, there would be no choice but to conclude that it was interested only in nuclear weapons and to act jointly to impose significant penalties."

They further warned that "if the US, Europe and Russia fail to join in an approach along these lines, it is likely that the world will face an Iranian government far closer to the acquisition of nuclear weapons."

"That is an outcome that it is in the interests of all nations to avoid," Scowcroft and Poneman said.

... Payvand News - 3/9/05 ... --

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