Report: West considering cash offer for halt of Iranian nuclear activities

Proposal would allow Tehran "one-time" access to frozen revenues.

November 5, 2013 06:33
1 minute read.
Iran's Bushehr nuclear reactor

Iran's Bushehr nuclear reactor 311 Reu. (photo credit: Raheb Homavandi / Reuters)

The West has been exploring a plan to offer Iran a portion of the country's frozen oil revenues to advance nuclear talks set for later this week, The Times of London reported overnight Monday.

According to the report, the proposal would permit the Islamic Republic access to a fraction of funds held under crippling punitive measures if Tehran agreed to stop all nuclear activity while further talks progressed.

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The prospective cash offered to Iran would derive from sales of crude oil to Japan, India and China, the Times cited Hilary Clinton's former senior non-proliferation advisor Robert Einhorn as saying.

According to Einhorn, the idea reportedly developed in talks aimed at discovering ways to provide Iran temporary economic gains while maintaining sanctions.

The idea could be viewed as a “one-time effort at providing some benefit to Iran while leaving the architecture of the sanctions regime in place,” he said. 

Iran was scheduled to meet with the the United States, Britain, Russia, China, France and Germany on November 7-8 in Geneva for a second round of negotiations on the Islamic Republic's disputed nuclear ambitions.

Ahead of the the next round of talks, the Obama Administration has been pressing US lawmakers to refrain from implementing new sanctions on Iran to allow maximum flexibility in the negotiations.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has repeatedly warned the international community against easing economic sanctions on Iran before it completely dismantled its nuclear weapons program.

“We must ensure that Iran won’t have nuclear weapons capabilities and that this can be achieved peacefully,” Netanyahu told his Italian counterpart Enrico Letta during a meeting in Rome last month.

Despite warnings from the West, Iran has said it continues to enrich uranium at near-weapons-grade levels and it will continue such activities until world powers agree to lift sanctions.

“During the talks with the P5+1, the Islamic Republic of Iran called for the recognition of its nuclear rights and the lifting of sanctions [against the country]. We should wait for the outcome of these negotiations,” Iranian Press TV quoted Alaeddin Boroujerdi, chairman of the Iranian Parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission as saying.

Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report.

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