West Ready for Substantial Sanctions Relief

West Ready for Substantial Sanctions Relief  West Ready for Substantial Sanctions Relief

Tehran would receive "substantial" economic relief early on if Iran and the major powers can complete a comprehensive final deal to resolve the dispute over the country's nuclear program, the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday quoted a senior Western diplomat as saying.

"In return for the implementation by Iran of verifiable nuclear-related actions which address our key concerns ... we are ready to offer a substantial relief of economic and financial sanctions at an early stage," the diplomat said.

The diplomat also said negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) on Tehran's nuclear program will continue within the next two weeks.

The format for the next talks is not yet decided but it could be a meeting between Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who coordinates the talks on behalf of the major powers.

Iran is negotiating a comprehensive nuclear agreement with the six major powers, which would see Tehran agree to concrete steps to constrain its nuclear activities for a specified period of time in exchange for the lifting of sanctions. The deadline for those talks, which continued in New York this month, is November 24.

Iran denies it is seeking to develop nuclear weapons and says its nuclear program is only meant for peaceful purposes, such as power generation.

The six powers — the US, Germany, France, the UK, Russia, and China — have already accepted that Tehran should have some kind of future nuclear-enrichment program. In recent weeks, they have floated "creative" solutions to Iran, according to Western diplomats, which could leave some of Iran's centrifuges in place but remove the infrastructure that makes them work.

Iran has been pushing for a quick lifting of all Western and United Nations Security Council sanctions, according to Western diplomats. They have said some of Iran's demands about the pace of easing economic pressure are unrealistic.