The US Offers Incentives to Iran

The US will provide nuclear technology to Iran in exchange for stopping its uranium enrichment program.

From the AP:

A package of incentives presented Tuesday to Iran includes a provision for the United States to supply Tehran with some nuclear technology if it stops enriching uranium _ a major concession by Washington, diplomats said.

The offer was part of a series of potential rewards offered to Tehran by European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana, according to the diplomats, who were familiar with the proposals and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were disclosing confidential details of the offer.

The package was agreed on last week by the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia _ the five veto-wielding members of the U.N. Security Council, plus Germany, in a bid to resolve the nuclear standoff with Iran.

The incentives include European offers of help in building nuclear reactors for a peaceful energy program, the diplomats said.

That European offer of light-water reactors meant for civilian nuclear energy purposes was revealed last month, but there had been no suggestion that the Americans would also agree to help build Iran’s civilian nuclear program if Tehran freezes enrichment and agrees to negotiations.

Diplomats had revealed Monday that the United States had upped the ante on what had initially been a European offer by agreeing to provide Boeing aircraft parts for Iran’s aging civilian fleet. Just days before, Washington broke with decades of official policy of no high-level diplomatic contacts with Tehran, announcing it was ready to join in multinational talks with the Islamic republic over its nuclear program.

But one of the diplomats described the U.S. nuclear offer as particularly significant because it would in effect loosen what has been a decades-long American embargo on giving Iran access “dual use” technologies _ equipment and know-how that has both civilian and military applications.

Update: Jon Henke of QandO has weighed in on this deal and says there are several reasons why this offer was necessary. First attacking Iran isn’t a good idea at this time. Second, economic incentives won’t really work since the US already has economic sanctions in place against Iran. Third, Iran has the right to nuclear power for peaceful purposes but not to nuclear weapons.

Jon also notes that several people have already criticized tthe US’s offer because they say it is too much like the Agreed Framework that Jimmy Carter negotiated with North Korea, and we all know what a disaster that was. In response to their concerns, Jon says this:

If properly negotiated, this could be a significant diplomatic achievement. We would have given up nothing we were not already legally obligated to give, while Iran would have agreed to inspections to pursue the nuclear program they were already legally allowed to have and encumbered themselves with additional disincentives to create tension in the Middle East.

Read the rest of Jon’s piece. He offers an interesting perspective.

My question: what’s next if Iran says no?

Update II: Little Green Footballs says US offers Throat to Iran.

Alan Warms at RealClearPolitics also reacts to the proposal with dismay.

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