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News

* Missed messages on Iran  Robert Kagan

* Envoy Condemns US Officials' Irresponsible Comments on Iran  News Report

* 'Israel will be destroyed if it attacks Iran'  News Report

* Warning of long war if Israel attacks Iran  News Report

* Iran unlikely to halt nuclear program, secret letters show  News Report

* Iran denies Ahmadi-Nejad was attacked  News Report

* Sanctions set stage for a new push on Iran  News Report

* اطلاعیۀ آیت الله منتطری دربارۀ حرام بودن مقاومت در برابر رأی مردم  Ali Behrooz

* لیست اسامی با حروف فارسی، تا تاریخ 08/09/08  Ali Behrooz

* War of words, or words of war  Ali Behrooz

* Could Israel use submarines against Iran?  News Report

* Iran deplores UAE claim on 3 islands  News Report

* 'Iran will respond to any attack'  News Report

* Carter to meet Hamas leadership in Cairo  News Report

* No Peace Without Hamas  News Report

* Ahmadinejad again voices Sept. 11 doubts  News Report

* Clinton, Obama tackle Iran issue in debate  News Report

* Bomb kills at least 9 in Iran mosque  News Report

* Iran demands Israel stop force threats  News Report

* Ahmadinejad to dismiss 2 cabinet ministers in Iran  News Report

* Iran: Naval encounter routine check  News Report

* Tony Blair's Palestine  News Report

* Clinton attacks Obama and McCain over Iraq  News Report

* Reza Pahlavi: Leadership for Democracy in Iran  News Report

* Petraeus: Return to 'pre-surge' troop levels, then wait  News Report

* Blast rocks US complex in Sanaa  News Report

* Clashes in Nile Delta after strike aborted  News Report

* When a great power goes mad  News Report

* Iranians defy censor with bootleg DVDs  News Report

* Putin says Iran is no threat  News Report

* Creating a US-Iran Bridge  News Report

* Court removes PKK from terror funds list  News Report

* 12 militants wanted by Israel flee Palestinian jail in West Bank after fight  News Report

* Limiting Tehran’s Influence?  Ali Behrooz

* UAE detains ship as grip on Tehran tightens  News Report

* Iranian critic not guilty of espionage  News Report

* Israelis and Palestinians pledge to reach peace pact by end of 2008  News Report

* Conference in Qom focuses on Iran-US challenges  News Report

* FM spokesman: Iran's plan on Iraq not put for voting  News Report

* Iran's top dissident cleric calls for U.S. talks  News Report

* Islamic militants take fight against Musharraf to 'Pakistan's Switzerland'  News Report

* 'Desperate' Musharraf declares martial law  News Report

* US Sanctions on Iran Leave Europeans in a Quandary  Sir Cyril Townsend

* After Thamilselvan  News Report

* Analysis: Is Abbas playing his cards right ahead of ME summit?  News Report

* Bahrain accuses Iran of nuclear weapons lie  News Report

* Senior Tamil Tiger leader killed  News Report

* US declares PKK 'a common enemy'  News Report

* Iran urged to join Gulf nuclear deal  News Report

* Iran's leaders need enemies like Bush, and at every turn he obliges them  News Report

* Giuliani hits Democrats on Iran  News Report

* Iran: We have no information on Arad  News Report

* Clinton hails US move on Iran  News Report

* Israel to prepare for potential missile attack  News Report

* US First Lady in Kuwait  News Report

* Rice: Mideast solution in jeopardy  News Report

* Kurdish fighters defy the world from mountain fortress as bombing begins  News Report

* Protesters confront Condoleezza Rice as she testifies on Middle East  News Report

* Showdown With Iran  News Report

* U.S. outlines Baghdad security handover plan  News Report

* Poll shows global opposition to Iran - and U.S.  News Report

* Iraq promises Turkey it will curb Kurdish rebels  News Report

* Big shoes to fill  News Report

* LUKOIL says halts Iran oil project on US sanctions  News Report

* Three soldiers killed in Darfur camp attack - UN  News Report

* There's a better - and cheaper - way that Washington can help Lebanon  News Report

* Lebanese patience for Nahr al-Bared displaced wears thin  News Report

* Iran, Syria urge diplomatic means instead of military incursion into Iraq  News Report

* Talabani refuses to deliver PKK leaders to Turkey amid protests against incursion  News Report

* Turkey vows to defeat PKK rebels  News Report

* Iran N-case on Olmert's Paris agenda  News Report

* Motaki (FM): US in No Position to Attack Iran  News Report

* We will fight to the death, Kurdish rebel leader vows from his hideout  News Report

* Deaths And Hostages In Border Clash  News Report

* Flash News: Kurdish separatistand 12 Turkish soldiers killed  News Report

* IRGC Commander:Aggressions to Be Reciprocated with a Rain of Rockets  News Report

* 2 leaders back Blair as European Union president  News Report

* Babacan stresses dialogue as key to solving Lebanese crisis  News Report

* Jordan hopes for positive outcome of Annapolis meeting  News Report

* Iran's nuclear negotiator resigns  News Report

* Larijani Resigns  Ali Behrooz

* NATO says shipment of roadside bombs was 'from Iran'  News Report

* Israel impeding effort to clear cluster bombs  News Report

* Bhutto defiant over bomb attack  News Report

* Democrats' stance on Iran criticized  News Report

* Top Palestinian negotiator may resign  News Report

* UN condemns killing of its truck drivers in Darfur  News Report

* Kurds sign oil deals beyond regional borders – former minister  News Report

* Jerusalem is ours, warns Likud  News Report

* Rice back in Israel after Egypt talks  News Report

* Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane workers in southern Iran go on strike  News Report

* Ahmadinejad: Caspian states to form economic cooperation organization  News Report

* Putin lands in Iran for nuke talks  News Report

* Mideast Conference and the Illusive Peace  News Report

* Coalition of the Reluctant  News Report

* World bank neglects African farming, study says  News Report

* Putin dismisses threat of assassination in Iran  News Report

* Israel signals readiness to cede parts of Jerusalem to Palestinians  News Report

* Christiane Amanpour: 'People think I relax with a Kalashnikov - I don't'  News Report

* After honeymoon, Sarkozy method poses three risks  News Report


Iran urged to join Gulf nuclear deal
[ News Report]  [2007-11-03 08:35:21]
[Source: FT - 01/11/07]


By Roula Khalaf in London

Saudi Arabia is calling on Iran to respond to an Arab proposal for a joint uranium enrichment plant outside the Middle East, the first regional attempt to defuse Tehran’s nuclear crisis.

Prince Saud al-Faisal, the foreign minister of Saudi Arabia, yesterday revealed the proposal by Arab Gulf states allied to the US, in a briefing to the FT and other British media.

First put to Iran a year ago, he said it would satisfy Tehran’s right to nuclear technology while providing assurances that Iran’s programme would not produce nuclear weapons.

“We have proposed a solution, which is to create a consortium for all users of enriched uranium in the Middle East,” Prince Saud said. “The consortium will distribute according to needs, give each plant its own necessary amount, and ensure no use of this enriched uranium for atomic weapons.”

The offer from the Gulf Co-operation Council (which groups Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and Kuwait) follows the group’s decision to look at setting up its own civil nuclear programme. The move, an apparent response to Iran’s nuclear ambitions, raised concerns of a nuclear arms race in the region.

Tehran has in the past invited western and regional powers to join it in a consortium to enrich uranium on Iranian soil, balking at any suggestion that would shift all its enrichment capabilities – the most sensitive part of a nuclear programme – outside the country. Enriched uranium can be used in nuclear reactors or atomic weapons.

But although Iran found the GCC idea “interesting”, said Prince Saud, it had yet to respond to it. “I hope the Iranians will accept this proposal,” he said, suggesting that an enrichment plant could be created in a neutral country such as Switzerland. “We urge them to look at this also from the point of view of security of the region.”

Iran, he added, was a “great country” that believed it had not been allowed to exercise its proper role as a leader in the region. “We encourage Iran to look for its rightful role but a leader has to look after the interests of those it is leading. Escalation that could lead to conflict would benefit no one,” he said.

The GCC proposal underlines the states’ anxiety over Tehran’s nuclear stand-off, which could lead to a new military conflict in the region.

“A peaceful resolution [to the nuclear dispute] is the only conceivably good result,” Prince Saud said.

Political directors from the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany are meeting in London today to discuss fresh sanctions against Tehran, which has so far refused to heed UN calls for a suspension of uranium enrichment.

But with China and Russia resisting more punitive measures, some diplomats fear deadlock at the UN will give hawks in Washington ammunition to push for military strikes against Iran.

Separately, the Saudi envoy warned on Thursday that there had to be a “significant amount of agreement” displayed by Palestinians and Israelis at the planned US-sponsored meeting later this year, reiterating the Saudi position that Riyadh would only attend if the conference can be successful.

He urged Israel to produce a “sincere” offer, which would include an end to Jewish settlement building and a halt to construction of the security wall. But he also stressed that progress on peace required reconciliation among warring Palestinian factions.

In a statement that highlighted Saudi opposition to the western isolation of the Islamist Hamas, he said the Arab League was working to revive a Palestinian national unity government, following the collapse of the previous administration in June and the takeover of the Gaza Strip by Hamas.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2007

 





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