Report: Iran proposes global system to eliminate nukes
Russian foreign minister Lavrov says Iran nuclear proposal is 'something to work with.'
Iran has proposed a global system to eliminate nuclear weapons as well as cooperation on Afghanistan, fighting terrorism and energy projects but is not willing to discuss halting its uranium enrichment program, an Iranian official told the Washington Post on Thursday.
Mojtaba Samareh Hashemi, considered to be Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's closest political aide and reportedly under consideration for appointment as first vice president, described Iran's proposal as similar to U.S. President Barack Obama's call in April to rid the world of nuclear weapons.
Hashemi was speaking about a proposal handed by Iran to the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and Germany on Wednesday.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday that the proposals contained something to work with and ruled out oil sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
Iran handed the proposals to the world powers after Western pressure to engage in talks to resolve the dispute over its nuclear program.
"Based on a brief review of the Iranian papers my impression is there is something there to use," Lavrov told academics and reporters from the Valdai discussion group in Moscow.
"The most important thing is that Iran is ready for a comprehensive discussion of the situation, what positive role it can play in Iraq, Afghanistan and the region," he said.
Lavrov added that the United Nations Security Council would not support oil sanctions against Iran, the world's fifth-largest crude exporter.
He said that world powers had agreed to use sanctions only as a way to get Iran to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency.
"Some of the sanctions under discussion, including oil and oil products, are not a mechanism to force Iran to cooperate -- they are a step to a full blown blockade and I do not think they would be supported at the UN Security Council," he said.
Iran says its nuclear program is aimed at producing electricity and has repeatedly rejected demands to halt enrichment, which can have both civilian and military purposes.
Meanwhile, the U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley told reporters Thursday that the Iranian proposal is "not really responsive to our greatest concern, which is obviously Iran's nuclear program."
U.S. President Barack Obama has indicated Iran will face much harsher sanctions, possibly targeting its lifeblood oil sector, if it does not accept good-faith negotiations by the end of September.