AFP: UN Secretary General Kofi Annan appealed Sunday for Iran to reply positively to a package of incentives offered by major powers in return for a freeze in uranium enrichment. UNITED NATIONS, Aug 20, 2006 (AFP) – UN Secretary General Kofi Annan appealed Sunday for Iran to reply positively to a package of incentives offered by major powers in return for a freeze in uranium enrichment.
“I am pleased that the Islamic Republic of Iran has indicated it will respond to the proposal of the EU3 plus three for a comprehensive solution to the nuclear issue on Tuesday,” Annan said in a statement.
“I appeal to the Government of Iran to seize this historic opportunity. Iran’s reply will, I trust, be positive and that this will be the foundation for a final, negotiated settlement.”
Annan was referring to an offer of assistance and other concessions by the US, three European powers, Russia and China to persuade Tehran to halt its nuclear fuel processing activities, believed to mask efforts to build atomic weapons.
The statement came as Iran test-fired a short-range missile on Sunday during the second day of nationwide military exercises in a demonstration of its readiness to “respond to any threat,” Iranian state television reported.
The UN leader said that progress on the Iranian nuclear issue was essential for regional and global stability.
“It is time to take steps in the right direction. I am convinced that a way is now open for setting a milestone for international non-proliferation efforts.
“The EU3 plus 3 have reaffirmed Iran’s right to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. It is important that Iran now assures the world that its intentions are peaceful, and that it re-builds confidence in its nuclear programme, as both the IAEA and the Security Council have called for.
The UN Security Council has also given Iran until August 31 to halt enrichment and reprocessing activities or face possible sanctions.