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Wed 18 Jun 2008 09:07 AM

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World powers offer Iran 'broad incentives'

Iran would receive major benefits if halted uranium enrichment as demanded, says US.

Iran would receive benefits in nuclear energy, trade, finance, agriculture and high technology if it halted uranium enrichment as demanded by world powers, according to a document released Tuesday by the US State Department.

The package presented to Tehran on Saturday offers Iran a chance to return to the international fold after years of isolation overs its sensitive nuclear work, according to a copy of the proposed deal.

Among key provisions, Iran was offered support in building "a light water reactor based on state-of-the-art technology" as well as "legally binding" guarantees for nuclear fuel supplies.

It will also benefit from support for research and development in nuclear energy "as international confidence is gradually restored" and help in managing its spent fuel and radioactive waste.

The package, "updated" from one offered Iran in June 2006, offers support for Iran in "playing an important and constructive role in international affairs".

It would meet Iranian demands for cooperation "on non-proliferation, regional security and stabilization issues" as well as a conference on Middle East security issues.

A solution to Iran's nuclear issue would contribute to "realizing the objective of a Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction, including their means of delivery," it said.

Iran has long lashed out at Israel's nuclear weapons stockpile, which has neither been confirmed nor denied.

The package also called for moves toward normalizing Iran's trade and economic ties with the rest of the world by helping integrate Tehran into "international structures, including the World Trade Organization."

It called for helping Iran become fully self-sufficient "in food through cooperation in modern technology and proposed civilian projects in environmental protection, infrastructure, science and technology.

It proposed the possible removal of restrictions on manufacturers exporting aircraft to Iran.

The package called for helping Iranians take courses in areas like civil engineering, agriculture and environmental studies.

It said it would also help Iran develop capacities to respond to disasters like earthquakes - which it has suffered from in the past - and other emergencies.

The package was presented to Iran Saturday by European Union (EU) foreign policy chief Javier Solana on behalf of Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China and the US.

A senior US official said Saturday that the package is not "dramatically different" from one presented two years ago, but it offers "more details" on civil nuclear energy cooperation, such as guarantees on fuel supplies.

Though it has not given a formal response yet, Iran on Tuesday said any demands it should suspend sensitive atomic activities would cross its "red line".

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