The European Union’s foreign policy chief Javier Solana has arrived in Tehran to present an incentives package aimed at persuading Iran not to develop nuclear weapons.
Iran is being offered what is been termed a “generous” deal to resolve the dispute over its nuclear ambitions.
The five permanent members of the UN Security Council, the US, China, Russia, Britain and France, joined by Germany have agreed to the package, an updated version of an offer rejected by Iran in 2006.
In New York, French UN delegate Nicolas de Riviere hinted at the finality of the proposition.
“We have been making increasingly generous offers to Iran for five years without the slightest sign of interest from them,” he said.
“The ball is now in their court and we very much hope they have the wisdom to take the hand being offered to them.”
But the Islamic Republic is showing little sign of backing down and diplomats are pessimistic about the prospect of a breakthrough.
Emerging from Friday prayers, one Tehran resident said:
“If the package Solana brings to Iran is rational and protects our country’s interests, certainly our people and officials will think wisely and make the right decision.”
But others were not so sure.
“I believe that under no circumstances, even war and destruction, will Iran abandon uranium enrichment because it has become its jugular vein,” said another Tehran citizen.
Iran says its atomic work is soley aimed at generating electricity so the world’s fourth largest oil producer can export more oil and gas.
The US and the 27 nation EU have warned of more sanctions if Iran does not stop enriching uranium.