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The U.S. and other nations have stepped up calls for Iran to respond to a diplomatic proposal made in April 2009 by the 6 nations who make up the P5+1 – Britain, France, China, Russia, the United States and Germany. In addition to a package of incentives, the P5+1 offered the opportunity for direct talks with the full participation of the United States without preconditions, if Iran would agree to negotiations over its nuclear program.
Instead of responding to the offer made by the P5+1 over 5 months ago, Iran recently put forward a proposal of its own to France, China, Russia, Germany, and Britain. The proposal was passed to the United States by the Swiss Ambassador to Iran. U.S. State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said the U.S. will review Iran's proposal "seriously and carefully" and "will confer with our partners in the P5+1 group":
"What we'll be looking for ... in these proposals is, first of all, if they've responded to our longstanding offer to engage with us in the P5+1 process; and second of all, we'll look to see how in this proposal they address these longstanding concerns of the international community about Iran's failure to comply with its Non-Proliferation Treaty, IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency], and Security Council obligations."
Mr. Kelly said there are multiple reasons why the international community is concerned about Iran's developing nuclear weapons. One of the main reasons is the danger of sparking an arms race in the Middle East and destabilizing the entire region.
"The Administration has made it clear to Iran and the whole international community that we have a new approach to Iran. And we’ve made it clear to Iran that the choice really is theirs to make," State Department spokesman Kelly said. "They have a stark choice: they can continue down this path of isolation from the international community, or they can choose to reintegrate with the international community. And that choice is out there for them, and we look forward to learning their choice."