Iran's President Hassan Rohani walks with delegates
Iran's President Hassan Rohani walks with delegates after speaking in a High-Level Meeting on Nuclear Disarmament during the 68th United Nations General Assembly, Sept. 26, 2013. Photo by Reuters
Text size

Iran is prepared to limit its nuclear program in return for a reduction of international sanctions, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, a week before a meeting with global powers in Geneva.

Iran is drawing up an offer that would include limits on the number of operating centrifuges, the amount of enriched uranium and international supervision, the reported quoted a former Western diplomat as saying

Officials briefed on diplomacy ahead of the talks said that Tehran was expected to ask that the United States and the European Union begin lifting sanctions imposed on its financial system and oil market.

Iran is expected to offer to cease 20-percent uranium enrichment, the report says, a fissile purity considered by Western countries too close to weapons-grade nuclear fuel. It is also expected to offer to close the underground uranium-enrichment facility near Qom.

The potential Iranian offer could cause a wedge between the United States and its Middle East allies Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, who warn against improving ties with Iran before it shuts down enrichment.

Israel's ambassador to the United Nations shed doubt over the reliability of the anticipated Iranian offer. "The Iranians have been negotiating for years with the Europeans and continue to lie and deceive," Ron Prosor told Army Radio.

Next week, Iran will meet the P5+1 – the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany – in Geneva to resume negotiations aimed at resolving the years-old nuclear dispute.

Israel and the United States accuse Iran of seeking to develop atomic weapons, but Iran insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.