Iran ready for 'all-encompassing' talks -website
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WASHINGTON, Sept 10 (Reuters) - Iran is ready to begin wide-ranging talks with the West, but is silent on whether it will halt its uranium enrichment program, according to a copy of an Iranian proposal posted on a U.S. website on Thursday.
The five-page document, whose authenticity was confirmed by a diplomat briefed on the proposal, was released by ProPublica (www.propublica.org), an independent, nonprofit newsroom that produces investigative journalism.
In the document, which was handed over to major powers on Wednesday, Iran said it was willing to discuss complete global nuclear disarmament in the talks, which it said could cover political-security, international and economic issues.
"The Islamic Republic of Iran voices its readiness to embark on comprehensive, all-encompassing and constructive negotiations aiming at acquiring a clear framework for cooperative relationships," the proposal said.
However, it was silent on the demand by the major powers that Iran suspend its uranium enrichment program, which the West suspects may be a cover for developing nuclear weapons but which Tehran says is solely to produce electrical power.
Among the issues Iran said it was willing to discuss was "putting into action real and fundamental programmes toward complete disarmament and preventing development and proliferation of nuclear, chemical and microbial weapons."
The six nations that received the proposal from Tehran -- Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States and Germany -- plan to hold a conference call among senior diplomats on Friday to decide how to respond to it.
However, differences among the so-called P5+1 have already emerged, with the United States saying that the document was "not really responsive to our greatest concern, which is obviously Iran's nuclear program."
Russia, which has veto power in the U.N. Security Council, said Iran's latest proposals contained something to work with and ruled out oil sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
In language that was often flowery and vague, the document proposed discussing issues such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and "tackling the root causes of terrorism."
It also held out the prospect of talks on economic issues including energy production, trade and investment, the global financial crisis and combating financial fraud and organized crime.
A U.S. State Department spokesman declined immediate comment on the document's publication.
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