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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 June 2006, 12:28 GMT 13:28 UK
Mixed press for US-Iran offer
Arab-Israeli Press

Iranian papers urge Tehran to show caution in any negotiations with the US over the nuclear issue, with one daily warning against being "trapped by Western tactics".

Another editorial argues that Washington's proposal "comes at a price even if it is free of charge" and that Iranian officials should be careful in their response.

In the wider region, Israeli papers are split over whether the US or Iran is gaining the upper hand, but one pan-Arab daily applauds Iran for getting the US to abandon its "previously arrogant position".

IRAN'S AFTAB-E-YAZD

All objective evidence indicates that Iran's nuclear dossier has reached a crucial turning point... We have to be careful not to be trapped by Western tactics and should not let these tactics raise false hopes among us... It seems that Iran has enough resources on its hands to be successful in the negotiations.

IRAN'S KAYHAN

America's proposal comes at a price even if it is free of charge... This message shows that they are against Iran's nuclear progress, because Iran's case would still be seen as negotiable even if Iran were to suspend uranium enrichment... This message is being sent just 24 hours prior to the 5+1 session [in Vienna] for a reason; America wants to sell this message politically to Russia and China... Iranian officials should be careful and give a telling response to America's suggestion.

IRAN'S RESALAT

Bush and Blair have repeatedly announced that Iran should respect the international community's concerns and suspend its uranium enrichment activities... Who is the international community? Does it consist of the five permanent members of the UNSC and Germany? 116 members of the Non-Aligned Movement countries have supported Iran's nuclear rights in their statement and asked Israel to join the NPT... The international community is against Israel, not against Iran.

NATHAN GUTTMAN IN ISRAEL'S JERUSALEM POST

For the US it is now a win-win situation. If Iran surprises the world and declares it accepts the conditions and is willing to discuss the package offered by the US and Europe, it will be seen as a huge victory for American diplomacy. On the other hand, if - as expected - Iran doesn't comply with the demand to stop nuclear enrichment, the US will be able to tell the world that it went the extra mile and that it is now time to take action.

BEN KASPIT IN ISRAEL'S MAARIV

The American announcement is both surprising and expected... Granting legitimacy to an Iran without a nuclear bomb is preferable to boycotting an Iran with a nuclear bomb. For a change the Americans did the right thing yesterday... [But] the distance between the US declaration and holding negotiations with Iran is still great.

ORLY AZULAY IN ISRAEL'S YEDIOT AHARONOT

This was a reaction to the stick and carrot that Ahmadinejad has previously employed. His stick was scary: a few months ago he declared that Tehran had reached an advanced stage in enriching uranium... Then Ahmadinejad sent the carrot: an 18-page letter to President Bush in which he proposed solving the problems of the world together. Washington called him a "gangster"... But outside the White House the extended hand from Tehran was received well... It is not clear whether Ahmadinejad was sophisticated enough to deliberately build this mad strategy to bend the US or if it happened by accident. Either way, victory is his.

UK-BASED AL-QUDS AL-ARABI

Iran has achieved victory over the US Administration and compelled it to abandon its previously arrogant position. The credit for this goes to the Iranian leadership for its ability to remain resolute... This is a good lesson for certain Arab leaders if they want to deal with the US in a different way and without being subdued followers.

MAKRAM MUHAMMAD AHMAD IN EGYPT'S AL-AHRAM

The world will see the American agreement to negotiate as the US backing down, unless Iran halts uranium enrichment beforehand. Direct talks with the US are of the utmost importance to Tehran, perhaps even more so than uranium enrichment, because Iran needs US guarantees protecting it from the possibility of a military strike to break its international isolation, solidify the Ayatollah regime and free it up to face domestic challenges.

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaux abroad.




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