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Iran Denies Proposing Plan to End Nuclear Crisis

Iran's top negotiator dismisses as "baseless" a report that Iran proposed a nine-step plan over its nuclear program.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 10/7/2012, 5:31 AM

Iran's top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili and EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton
Iran's top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili and EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton
AFP/Bulent Kilic

Iran's top negotiator, Saeed Jalili, on Saturday dismissed as "baseless" a report that Iran has proposed a nine-step plan to the world powers over its nuclear program.

"No new proposal outside the framework of the Group 5+1 (the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany) has been raised at the recent UN meeting and the allegations of some US media in this regard are groundless," Jalili, who is also the secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, said, according to the Fars news agency.

Earlier, Iran's Deputy Chief Negotiator Ali Baqeri in similar remarks rejected the reports, alleging that Iran has changed its proposals to the West, and underscored that the framework of Iran's proposal has not changed compared with the package presented to the world powers in Moscow.

"Iran presented its desired framework in Moscow and it has presented a more detailed explanation of its proposals for the Group 5+1 after the talks (in Moscow)," the deputy chief negotiator reiterated, Fars reported.

Baqeri said Tehran is waiting for the world powers' response to its proposal which was presented in the Moscow talks in June, adding that the response would pave the way for future talks between the two sides.

"A constructive response by the Group 5+1 to these proposals can pave the ground for the start of a new round of talks between Iran and G5+1," he said.

The New York Times reported on Friday that Iran offered a “nine-step plan” to defuse tensions over its unsupervised nuclear program, but the compromise offer was rejected by the United States.

American officials reported said the proposal required too much from the West, including a complete end to sanctions.

The proposal would see the U.S. and Europe gradually end sanctions while Iran would end work at one of two sites where uranium is being enriched to 20 percent. Once all sanctions have ended, Iran would “suspend” work on medium-enriched uranium at the second site.

EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton recently called on Iran to take urgent action to allay mounting international concerns over its nuclear drive.

She made the comments after talks with the foreign ministers of Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and United States, during which she updated them on her talks with Jalili in Istanbul. Last month, Ashton and Jalili met behind closed doors at the Iranian consulate in Istanbul.

UN ambassadors for the United States, Britain and France have warned that time is running out for a negotiated settlement with Iran. Britain, France and Germany have officially called for new European Union sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program.