Sources: Iran to be offered 'serious' incentive
February 20th, 2013
07:14 PM ET

Sources: Iran to be offered 'serious' incentive

By Elise Labott

World powers plan to make Iran a "serious" offer of economic incentives at talks next week on its nuclear program, Western officials tell CNN.

In exchange for easing of sanctions barring trade with Iran in gold and other precious metals, the so-called P5+1 diplomatic bloc of countries wants Iran to shut its underground enrichment facility at Fordo, near the holy city of Qom and ship out its stockpile of uranium enriched to 20% purity, the officials said.

The group, comprised of Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States, plans to deliver the offer at talks next Tuesday in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

READ: Iran installing advanced centrifuges ahead of talks

The offer presents a slightly revised package to the one presented to Iran last year during talks in Moscow, Baghdad and Istanbul, in which the group proposed fuel for a medical reactor and easing sanctions on aviation spare parts in exchange for Iran suspending its uranium enrichment and shipping its stockpiles out of the country.

"We couldn't come back with the same proposal," one official said. "But the idea is to test the waters and see where the Iranians are and if they are serious. We hope to get some insight into their thinking and see what they prioritize in their asks and offers."

Iran has defied international demands that it halt its production of enriched uranium, which it insists is to be used for civilian nuclear power and research reactors. But the United States and Israel have accused Iran of seeking the capability to produce nuclear weapons, and the International Atomic Energy Agency says it can no longer verify that Iran's nuclear program is strictly peaceful.

The new deal also takes into account the advances at the Fordo plant, asking Iran to permit wider IAEA inspections and to take steps that would make restarting Fordo a more difficult and time-consuming process.

"The logic of it, if the Iranians accept this, is that [the Iranians] have to erase the progress [they] made since the last talks," the official said.
Iran's refusal to shut down its uranium enrichment plants has led to tougher and tougher economic sanctions that have crippled its economy. An oil embargo and banking restrictions have crashed the Iranian currency, the rial. New U.S. sanctions imposed in January targeted a handful of companies and individuals that Washington says are providing materials and technology to Tehran's nuclear program.

Tehran has already rejected the new offer to be presented at next week's talks. But officials said they believe the deterioration of the Iranian economy may be causing the regime to consider making a deal.

Still, they acknowledged expectations of a major breakthrough are low for the Almaty talks, in large part due to skepticism that Iran's political leadership could make concessions ahead of the country's presidential elections in June.

Additionally, one Western diplomat said Iran may feel less pressure from the new Obama administration.

Both Secretary of State John Kerry and Chuck Hagel, President Barack Obama's nominee for defense secretary, have both been strong supporters of negotiations with Iran and are wary of any military action against Tehran's nuclear sites.

Both Kerry and Hagel have publicly supported having direct talks between Washington and Tehran, an idea proposed earlier this month by Vice President Joe Biden.

"More important than what we see from Iran is what we project," the diplomat said. "Many in the regime may think they have gotten past the worst part in terms of pressure. The best we can hope for in the short run is that we impress Iran with our steadfastness, and also show them we are ready to talk."

soundoff (64 Responses)
  1. Tohid Mostafalou

    US Hypocrisy And Double Standard Towards Iran's Nuclear Program
    The Iranian people have been repeatedly submitted to inspections, cameras and satellites. We have been the victims of sanctions, of even basic medicines; been the victim of covert operations, including the assassinations of our scientists. Therefore, it is time for us to claim our need of a confidence-building exercise from the IAEA, ISIS and the western world.

    February 24, 2013 at 6:16 pm | Reply
  2. Beefburger

    Iran doesn't want to play well with others then all of the others will take their toys and go home! Iran doesn't want to abide what their neighbors think then their neighbors don't have to invest or trade with them. NO SOUP FOR YOU!!

    February 24, 2013 at 5:15 am | Reply
  3. mf3

    You got to be kidding me! Is that their deal?Are the Iranians really gonna come?

    February 22, 2013 at 8:07 am | Reply
  4. libertygrace

    By offering Iran goodies we only delay the inevitable. Those in power believe their mission is righteous, even though the Iranian people suffer. However, with Barack Obama and good old uncle Joe Biden in charge that 3:00 am. phone call becomes more terrifying everyday!

    February 22, 2013 at 4:32 am | Reply
  5. joebob

    They will not stop making a nuclear bomb – doesn't matter what the USA and Europe do. They will HAVE to be stopped they will not do it voluntarily .

    February 21, 2013 at 1:29 pm | Reply
    • George

      Do you have evidence that Iran is building nukes? Do you mind presenting your evidence?

      February 21, 2013 at 1:42 pm | Reply
      • Some User

        Of course he doesn't. The UN doesn't either.

        February 23, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
    • omahakidw

      The problem is nobody listens anymore, their will always be something that people will disagree with, they might be "lost" like the guy in North Korea, but killing, or engageing in that type of talk benifits no one, and we all go home thinking "the other guy will do it my way, or were gonna find a way to stop him. With usualy means replacing him, or her, or assisting others in the killing thing The plan isn`t difficult, listen sometimes, prior to talking. Responses are suppose to be measured, but in just about any case today, threats are the way to solve things. I say if their is intellect, use it. Unless I know what I want you to say. Dictators all.

      February 21, 2013 at 5:55 pm | Reply
  6. Charlie Daniels

    My incentive – shut it down or be turned to glass.

    February 21, 2013 at 1:24 pm | Reply
    • George

      Sure, you are utterly childish. Do you have any idea how large Iran is? Also, get ready for all the U.S. bases and Navy ships in the Persian to go up in smoke, poof, and they are all gone, including your beloved prehistoric aircraft carriers.

      February 21, 2013 at 1:43 pm | Reply
      • Hahahahahhahaha

        No really!! Hahahahahahahahaha

        February 21, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
      • A Sneaky Drone

        George is a little butthurt because he knows that we have more stealth aircraft than they have nuclear facilities. This whole thing could go down overnight and it wouldn't take a single so called "prehistoric aircraft carrier" to do it.

        February 22, 2013 at 6:29 pm |
      • Beefburger

        No carriers needed. A couple of B-2s out of Iowa coming into Iranian airspace at 50,000" will deliver our messages loud and clear. What can those camel rapists possibly do to prevent it?

        February 24, 2013 at 5:05 am |
    • Clint Eastwood

      Gee Charlie, you sound like another bird brained Tea Partier. Are you really that proud of your ignorance?

      February 21, 2013 at 7:47 pm | Reply
    • mf3

      and just who is going to pay for turning them into glass, not me!

      February 22, 2013 at 9:02 am | Reply
      • Beefburger

        It wouldn't cost as much as you think, the party favors are already paid for.

        February 24, 2013 at 5:07 am |
    • Pete

      @Charlie Daniels,yah and we have a bunch of old ICBMs just laying around wanting to be used..1500' air burst would turn their cities to glass factories and don't worry about counting the dead because there won't be any!!

      February 22, 2013 at 1:45 pm | Reply
  7. dave0943

    You really don't think Iran is going to stop trying to build the bomb do you? They have all sorts of help from Russia/N Korea.They are probably past the point of no return. How many other secret plants does Iran have operating? I really can't blame them, the bomb gives them the power to say to the world, don't screw with us. I don't think that they would use the bomb unless attacked.

    February 21, 2013 at 12:24 pm | Reply
  8. Deal?

    How is this a deal? We took things away from them through sanctions and the deal is for us to get stuff we want while giving back what they already had before the sanctions? The sanctions should not be part of the negotiation in the large scheme of things. We need to start from a level field. Give them what they want (legal access to nuclear technology) while we get what we want (limitations on building weapons). The sanctions were meant to push the Iranians in making a deal. Instead whats happening now is the deal is about sanctions as opposed to nuclear technology.

    February 21, 2013 at 8:51 am | Reply
    • Thinker23

      You forgot that the negotiations already started "from a level field" and then Iran REFUSED to stop their nuclear weapons program. In response the West imposed economic sanctions on Iran. The current offer is designed to make it clear to everyone that the goal of Iranian leadership is NOT peaceful nuclear program which could be achieved by accepting the offers in the past. Iranian refusal to accept this offer will, hopefully, make it clear to those still having doubts that Iranian goal is to get nuclear weapons.

      February 21, 2013 at 12:31 pm | Reply
      • George

        Who is the West to tell Iran what it can do or not do? You haven't changed your idiotic comments one bit.

        February 21, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
    • mf3

      I don't see the relevence of shutting down a civilian nuclear facility to building a nuclear bomb, but.... they will not accept this offer because it is not a fair offer. The almighty sanctions affect the EU and the oil prices more than it affects the Iranians. Have you tried to pump gas lately? Besides Oil is a rare commodity. Iran is selling gas to US troops at an exorbitant price because of the war in Afghanistan. It is a wonder they can keep a straight face during these so called negotiations. Obama has pretty much signaled that he is not going to spend our children's social security to prevent Iran from having a bomb. (bush has spent ours fighting in Iraq). So what do you think they are going to say? We have to make them a real offer.

      February 22, 2013 at 9:21 am | Reply
    • Cyrus

      You are absolutely right and this is indeed the problem that stands in the way of a meaningful and honest negotiation with Iran. The logic of forcing Iran to give up their inalienable right in return for easing the sanctions is absolutely flawed and ridiculous.

      February 22, 2013 at 11:04 am | Reply
  9. selfprophet

    Reblogged this on lifesdeath.

    February 21, 2013 at 6:50 am | Reply
  10. BCS

    I don't see how this package" could be at all enticing to Iran, given that countries party to the NPT (which Iran is) have the right to develop peaceful nuclear energy programs. The IAEA is automatically allowed to inspect, and they have been doing so. The Iranian nuclear programme was in fact encouraged by the Americans when it started. The real problem is the Iranian leadership, which is unpalatable to the US and Israel, hence the need for the US to pick a fight with them. If Iran suddenly had a pro-US leadership tomorrow, you can bet that nobody would bat an eyelid at the nuclear program.

    February 21, 2013 at 1:32 am | Reply
  11. Mike

    I don't think the West should be asking Iran to give up secured facilities. It suggests plans for a future attack.

    February 21, 2013 at 1:28 am | Reply
    • mf3

      and they somehow think that the American people are stupid and Ayatollah is blind.

      February 22, 2013 at 9:23 am | Reply
  12. John Smith

    America is the root of all terror. America has invaded sixty countries since world war 2.
    In 1953 America overthrow Iran's democratic government Mohammad Mosaddegh and installed a brutal dictator Shah. America helped Shah of Iran to establish secret police and killed thousands of Iranian people.
    During Iran-Iraq war evil America supported Suddam Hossain and killed millions of Iranian people. In 1989, America, is the only country ever, shot down Iran's civilian air plane, killing 290 people.
    In 2003,America invaded Iraq and killed 1,000,000+ innocent Iraqi people and 4,000,000+ Iraqi people were displaced.
    Now America is a failed state with huge debt. Its debt will be 22 trillion by 2015.

    February 21, 2013 at 1:18 am | Reply
    • rk

      John Smith is a stupid radical muslim moron. Your god sucks donkey dick.

      February 21, 2013 at 10:13 am | Reply
    • lee

      I think John Smith is nothing but an alias. You are an Iranian. Nice try.

      February 21, 2013 at 11:05 am | Reply
    • Tom1964

      Maybe you should have accepted the deal we offered your country and you would still have nuclear power and you economy would still be running. Stop criticizing us when you are so worried about nuclear weapons you'd let your people starve. You're no better than us and in many ways worse!

      February 21, 2013 at 11:59 am | Reply
      • pars

        at least we didn't detonated A bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki we didn't used depleted uranium in Iraq.if we are bad you are worse be sure

        February 21, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
      • mf3

        They have nuclear energy and their economy is running and they are telling us to put the deal where the sun doesn't shine, as clearly as the day. Next question!

        February 22, 2013 at 7:59 am |
  13. William deB. Mills

    It is good policy to offer a serious incentive to Iran. No country wants to surrender, so the current policy of trying to force Iran to accept second class citizenship and nuclear discrimination in favor of Israel is a non-starter. More, Iran is now in election mode, so there is no chance of Iran accepting surrender. The US offer must sound good in Tehran. Unfortunately, what the US says it will offer is not impressive – the US will continue to conduct economic warfare against Iran even if Iran agrees to US terms, but just moderate the scale of that economic warfare. And Iran is supposed to be impressed? Something far more substantive will be required if Iran is to take the US offer as sincere.

    February 20, 2013 at 8:56 pm | Reply
    • mitt moran

      Well said...

      February 20, 2013 at 9:15 pm | Reply
    • shrinkDave

      Offers and counteroffers are how this will be conducted. Non-starters produce public rhetoric, while the power brokers make the deal.

      February 20, 2013 at 10:23 pm | Reply
  14. John Q Public

    The best bet for Iran is to create as many nuclear weapons as possible as a strong deterrent to Israel.

    When Israel agrees to let the UN nuclear inspectors in, and thereby is forced, at gunpoint if necessary, to relinquish every single weapon of mass destruction that Israel has illegally acquired, then it might be possible for Iran to also follow suit. But until then, why should they?

    Whatever is bad for Israel is good for the world.

    February 20, 2013 at 8:49 pm | Reply
    • nick

      Yes John you are correct, better yet lets just let Islam wipe the jews off the face of the earth and call it a day. i am sure they would sit by and be full of all that love, peace and tolerance we keep hearing about. I am certain islam would relax and stop the violence- Yikes- yes lets all negoitate with terrorists and pay them off so the next time we can give them more.

      February 20, 2013 at 9:28 pm | Reply
      • Mike

        Based on your ridiculous hyperbole (Iran has NEVER threatened to wipe "Jews" off the map, it didn't even threaten Israel if you see an accurate translation of the infamous statement by Ahmadinejad), you want to sanction and kill 75 million Iranians?

        February 21, 2013 at 1:30 am |
      • Mike

        In your mind, all Muslims = terrorists, and it's OK to kill them all off..

        February 21, 2013 at 1:30 am |
      • Thinker23

        Mike: "...it didn't even threaten Israel if you see an accurate translation of the infamous statement by Ahmadinejad)...

        Can you elaborate on this? I'm interested to know HOW can the "regime in Jerusalem" "vanish from the map" without destroying the State of Israel... If you don't mind, of course.

        February 21, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
      • ns1

        1-meteors 2-earthquake 3-failure in nuclear power plant system 4-one of their nukes detonate for some reason 5-social problems and ....... you see that there is lots of ways to be vanished from earth

        February 21, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
      • mf3

        Sure thinker! Israel is already in a political impasse. It is a small country in a vast region of hostile Arabs who are bleeding every Israeli family one by one. It already has a negative population growth,( since people are leaving and nobody is really coming in.) for the Jews and a whopping 7% for the Arabs. Once real democracy takes foot, Arabs have majority in Israel and the first thing they will change is the name of the country.

        February 22, 2013 at 8:05 am |
    • shrinkDave

      Iran is on the road to become similar to North Korea.

      February 20, 2013 at 10:26 pm | Reply
    • ARASH

      YOU ARE MISTAKEN , ISREAL IS NOT ENEMY OF IRAN ,THROUGH HISTORY THEY ALWAYS FIGHT ALONG SIDE OF PERSIAN . ISREAL IS VERY IMPORTANT FOR IRAN ,BECAUSE IT ACT AS BUFFER ZONEA GAINST ARAB .ARAB ARE ENEMY OF IRAN ,NOT ISREAL .UNELECTED IRANIAN GOVERMENT THEY BELIEVE THEY ARE SON OF ISLAM .USA SHOULD OVERTHROW THIS REGIME AND SUPPORT 85% IRANIAN WHO ARE AGAIST ISLAMIC REPUBLIC .

      February 21, 2013 at 8:02 pm | Reply
  15. boungiorno

    this is a farce

    February 20, 2013 at 8:32 pm | Reply
  16. George Patton-2

    A better deal yet would be to let the Iranians use their uranium to generate electricity and medical supplies but agree not to build nuclear weapons similar to the deal South Africa agreed to several years ago. They also need to agree to let U.N. inspectors in every six months or so.

    February 20, 2013 at 7:33 pm | Reply
    • George Patton

      ha ha ha ha ha ha, that was very funny post Phunnie boy, I haven't had a good laugh in a long time!

      February 20, 2013 at 7:53 pm | Reply
      • George Patton-2

        Thanks you George !!! I had to try.

        February 20, 2013 at 7:54 pm |
      • George Patton-2

        Sorry folks, just ignore those two posts above. Some Tea Partying fool is just trying to make me look as dumb as he is!

        February 21, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
    • Joseph Nikolas Erobha

      Now that sounds like a damn good idea! You should send it to the White House, or something.

      February 20, 2013 at 10:33 pm | Reply
    • not george patton

      but, but, but....we already got that deal! the eyerainians are using their uranium to fuel their nukular plant and
      to make medical isotopes. the iaea has access to all nukular sites at any time.

      February 21, 2013 at 5:26 am | Reply

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