June 2, 2008 / 3:47 PM / 12 years ago

U.S. expects Iran offer to be presented mid-June

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Major powers plan in mid-June to present Iran with revised economic and diplomatic incentives to abandon its nuclear weapons program, the U.S. State Department said on Monday.

Spokesman Sean McCormack said European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana was finalizing a date with the Iranians to present the offer, which updates a 2006 deal rejected by Tehran.

“They are still looking for the exact date and time but I think mid-June is consistent with my understanding of the time frame,” McCormack told reporters.

The five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council — the United States, France, Britain, China and Russia — as well as Germany agreed on the updated offer weeks ago but have had problems pinning Iran down to a time to present it.

The offer urges Iran to give up sensitive nuclear work the West suspects is cover for building an atomic bomb in exchange for economic and diplomatic rewards.

No official details have been given of the updated offer. Diplomats say it is very similar to the 2006 one but goes into more depth, particularly on civil nuclear cooperation.

The 2006 offer included civil nuclear cooperation and wider trade in civil aircraft, energy, high technology and agriculture if Tehran suspended enrichment and negotiated with the six powers.

Excluding the United States, which does not have diplomatic ties with Tehran, Solana is expected to take along political directors from the other countries to present the offer.

Iran has also presented its own offer. McCormack said the United States was studying it.

It includes cooperation to stabilize the Middle East but makes clear Tehran would not give up nuclear activity.

Iran, the world’s fourth-largest oil producer, insists its enrichment activity is aimed at generating electricity and says the program is a national right that it will not give up.

Reporting by Sue Pleming; Editing by Alan Elsner

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