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EU offers light water reactors to Iran

The EU is calling on world powers to help Iran's nuclear and other industries if Tehran stops enriching uranium.

india Updated: May 20, 2006 08:23 IST

The EU is calling on world powers to help Iran's nuclear and other industries if Tehran stops enriching uranium but wants Russia and China to join in sanctions, including an arms embargo, if Iran does not, according to a copy of a draft proposal.

The proposal by the trio of Britain, France and Germany says world powers should support Iran's building several light water reactors, set up a nuclear fuel bank and even have the United States drop restrictions on Iran's buying US commercial airplanes, if Iran takes steps to guarantee it will not make nuclear weapons.

But if Tehran does not do this, sanctions should follow including an arms embargo, in an escalating international standoff over an Iranian civilian nuclear power programme which the United States claims hides the development of atomic weapons.

An arms embargo "would have a significant impact on Russian and Chinese arms sales to Iran," non-proliferation analyst Gary Samore said, referring to the two nations extensive trade ties with their Iranian ally.

"The question mark is whether the Russian and Chinese will sign up to the sanctions part," said Samore, a former White House official now at the McArthur Foundation in Chicago.

The four-page draft text, to be discussed among the EU-3, plus China, Russia and the United States in London next Wednesday, lists 15 targeted sanctions for the UN Security Council to choose from, doling them out as graduated "proportionate measures," if Iran does not comply.