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Iran Incentives Include Letter of Assurance by US Secretary of State – UK Official | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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London, Asharq Al-Awsat – Saeed Jalili, Secretary of the Iranian National Security Council, announced that the Iranian officials “are examining a timetable “presented by Javier Solana, the EU’s higher policy representative, for resuming the negotiations over the Iranian nuclear dossier, a British official told Asharq Al-Awsat that the incentives basket offered to Iran last week included for the first time a letter of assurance signed by the foreign ministers of the United States, Britain, Germany, France, China, and Russia in addition to Solana.

The British official who spoke to Asharq Al-Awsat on the condition of anonymity said the incentives basket included giving Tehran “legal guarantees” to supply it with the necessary nuclear fuel for operating the nuclear reactors.

On his part, a British official told Asharq Al-Awsat that the incentives basket guarantees for Iran the continuation of its nuclear program for peaceful purposes. The British Foreign Office official who cannot reveal his identity added: “The basket includes specific proposals to help Iran acquire everything it needs for a modern industrial nuclear program, including technical and financial aid, legal guarantees to provide Tehran with nuclear fuel, and cooperation to get rid of radioactive waste.” He added: “The basket also covers a long list of other benefits for Tehran, from a big improvement in political relations and joint cooperation to the dialogue about regional security issues.”

The British official pointed out that the new element in the new incentives basket is that it includes a “letter of assurance” signed by the foreign ministers of the Security Council members and Germany, adding that US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was among the signatories of the letter which was added to the incentives basket for Iran. He added that the letter of assurance, which was also signed by Solana, “underlined the commitment of the Security Council countries and Germany to negotiate with the Iranians if they honor their obligations. The letter includes basic points, among them that we are not seeking to deprive Iran of its rights to benefit from nuclear energy while Tehran’s continued enrichment of uranium program, which it does not need for civilian purposes, poses a possible threat to international peace and security. The letter also stressed that the choice is in the end Iran’s.”

The British official revealed that the EU countries are at present examining new lists for sanctions on Tehran in anticipation of its rejection of the West’s incentives basket and said: “If they honor their obligations, then real benefits will reach all the parties but if they reject our offer again and continue to ignore the UN demands, then they will leave us with no choice but to increase the cost for the Iranian regime by imposing more UN and EU sanctions. The Security Council was clear in its letter, namely, if Iran did not honor its obligations then more sanctions would be imposed. The Security Council countries and Germany in fact gave Iran more time to examine the incentives basket but we must act if they reject or procrastinate.” The British official stressed that the view of the group of 5+1 of the Iranian proposals basket which Tehran offered in May depends on Tehran’s suspension of the enrichment of uranium and starting immediate negotiations.