Page last updated at 17:27 GMT, Tuesday, 1 September 2009 18:27 UK

Iran 'has new nuclear proposal'

Saeed Jalili
Iran is to put its plan to the six nations considering its nuclear programme

Iran has prepared a new nuclear proposal and is ready to resume talks on its nuclear programme, according to media reports.

The Islamic Republic's chief nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, was quoted making the claim on Iranian television.

Tougher UN sanctions against Iran are due to be considered at a meeting of world powers on Wednesday.

Iran faces pressure to halt nuclear enrichment, a move which it has repeatedly rejected to date.

Iran says the new package will be directed at the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - the UK, China, France, Russia and the United States - plus Germany, according to the reports.

The six nations are meeting near Frankfurt amid mounting international pressure for further measures against Iran.

Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was visiting Europe, said there was a need for what he called "crippling sanctions" against Tehran.

But so far, the international community has applied a twin-track approach, says BBC world affairs correspondent Peter Biles - one of engagement and sanctions, with the promise of trade benefits if Iran comes clean on its nuclear programme.

Many people are talking about how Iran's nuclear program is the greatest threat to the world. In many ways, I think the threat is hyped
Mohamed ElBaradei
Head of the International Atomic Energy Agency

US President Barack Obama has also given Iran until later this month to take up an offer of talks.

The need for dialogue was emphasised in an interview released on Tuesday with the outgoing head of the UN atomic watchdog, Mohamed ElBaradei.

He said that it was urgent to "build trust and normalise relations" between Washington and Tehran.

The director of the International Atomic Energy Agency also said that he has "not seen concrete evidence that Tehran has an ongoing nuclear weapons programme".

In the interview with the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists he said that "many people are talking about how Iran's nuclear programme is the greatest threat to the world. In many ways, I think the threat is hyped".

Iran has previously said it is ready for talks but the stalemate over its uranium enrichment has continued to be a stumbling block.

It is unclear whether a new plan would signal any movement in the nuclear dispute.

Print Sponsor

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific