Document Outlines Nuclear Offer to Tehran

Document Outlines Nuclear Offer to Tehran Document Outlines Nuclear Offer to Tehran

The United States and other nations negotiating a nuclear deal with Iran are ready to offer high-tech reactors and other state-of-the-art equipment to Tehran if it agrees to restrict its nuclear activities in certain areas, according to a confidential document obtained on Tuesday by the AP.

The draft document — one of several technical appendices meant to accompany the main text of any deal — has dozens of bracketed text where disagreements remain. Technical cooperation is the least controversial issue at the talks, and the number of brackets suggests the sides have a ways to go not only on that topic but also more contentious disputes with little more than a week until the June 30 deadline for the deal.

The draft, entitled "Civil Nuclear Cooperation," promises to supply Iran with light water nuclear reactors instead of its nearly completed heavy water facility at Arak.

Outlining plans to modify that heavy water reactor, the draft, dated June 19, offers to "establish an international partnership" to rebuild it into a less proliferation-prone facility while leaving Iran in "the leadership role as the project owner and manager."

Iran denies its nuclear work may have any military objectives, saying the program is solely for peaceful purposes.

The eight-page draft also promises "arrangements for the assured supply and removal of nuclear fuel for each reactor provided," and offers help in the "construction and effective operation" of the reactors and related hardware. It also offers to cooperate with Iran in the fields of nuclear safety, nuclear medicine, research, nuclear waste removal and other peaceful applications.

  Isotope Production

As well, it firms up earlier tentative agreement on what to do with the underground site of Fordo, saying it will be used for isotope production instead of uranium enrichment.

A diplomat familiar with the negotiations said China was ready to help in re-engineering the heavy water reactor at Arak; France in reprocessing nuclear waste, and Britain in the field of nuclear safety and security.

He spoke on the eve of Wednesday's new round of nuclear talks in Vienna and demanded anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the confidential talks.

Diplomats say the other appendices include ways of dealing with enrichment; limits on Iran's research and development of advanced uranium-enriching centrifuges and ways of verifying Tehran's compliance with the prospective accord.

A senior US official who demanded anonymity in exchange for commenting on the talks said on Tuesday the sides are still apart not only on the monitoring system but all other ancillary issues as well. Separately, White House spokesman Josh Earnest suggested the talks could go past June 30.

If a deal "requires us to take a couple of extra days ... then we'll do that," he said. A delay up to July 9 is not a deal-breaker. If the US Congress receives a deal by then, it has 30 days to review it before President Barack Obama could cease congressional sanctions.

But postponement beyond that would double the congressional review period to 60 days.

Earnest indicated that negotiations may continue even if the sides declare they have reached a final deal.

He said even past that point, ongoing "differences of opinion ... may require additional negotiations."