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Iran's new proposal for talks with the West promises wide-ranging negotiations but does not provide details of the country's disputed nuclear program, according to a copy of the document published by an investigative group.
The five-page proposal, published online by New York-based ProPublica, says Teheran is ready to "embark on comprehensive, all-encompassing and constructive negotiations."
ProPublica did not say how it obtained the proposal. A Western diplomat familiar with the Iranian nuclear file said the document published on ProPublica was authentic. The diplomat spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.
Click here to read the document in full (PDF format)
The proposal, submitted by Teheran on Wednesday to representatives of the P5+1 group of nations - - the US, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia - says Iran is prepared to enter into dialogue and negotiation in order to lay the ground for lasting peace. It lists a wide range of issues for discussion, including nuclear disarmament, trade and investment and protecting human dignity.
Although the proposal makes no mention of Israel, it calls for "joint efforts and interactions to help the people of Palestine draw up a comprehensive, democratic and equitable plan in order to help the people of Palestine to achieve all-embracing peace, lasting security and to secure their fundamental rights."
It also calls for "promoting the universality of the Non-Proliferation Treaty," and "putting into action real and fundamental programs towards complete disarmament and preventing the development and proliferation of nuclear chemical and microbial weapons."
It urges the reform of the United Nations and the Security Council to "raise their effectiveness on the basis of principles of democracy and justice."
The proposal calls for "definition and codification of the rights relating to new and advanced technologies, and promoting a rule-based and equitable oversight function of the IAEA, and creating the required mechanisms for use of clean nuclear energy in agriculture, industry, medicine and power generation."
According to the document, "The Islamic Republic of Iran believes that within the framework of principles of justice, democracy and multilateralism, a wide range of security, political, economic and cultural issues at regional and global levels could be included in these negotiations with a view of fostering constructive cooperation for advancement of nations and promotion of peace and stability in the region and the world."
The US and Russia were at odds on Thursday over Teheran's proposals, with American officials saying they fall short of satisfying international demands, and the Russians saying there was something to talk about.
Even as American officials warned that time was running out and dismissed the Islamic Republic's response as disappointing, Reuters reported Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as saying that "based on a brief review of the Iranian papers, my impression is there is something there to use."
Israel, for its part, reiterated its position that Iran was doing little more than playing for time.
"Israel's position is well known and has been expressed on many previous occasions in the past," said Yossi Levy, the Foreign Ministry's spokesman for the domestic press. "The Iranians have been trying for a long time to stall, and the world is obligated to stop them immediately. This is a historic crossroad for world peace."
With a US-imposed end of September deadline for the Islamic Republic looming, American officials said the Obama administration remained open to talks and held out hope that Iranian officials might signal a similar interest by the time world leaders met later this month at the UN General Assembly.
On Monday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said his country would neither halt uranium enrichment nor negotiate over its nuclear rights but is ready to sit and talk with world powers over "global challenges."