6 world powers agree on incentives for Iran to stop nuclear program

Six world powers agreed Thursday on a package of incentives in a bid to persuade Iran to halt its nuclear program, and said U.N. Security Council action against Tehran would be suspended if it agrees to stop enriching uranium.

"I am pleased to say that we have agreed a set of far-reaching proposals as a basis for discussion with Iran," said British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett after a meeting between the foreign ministers of France, Britain, Germany, the United States, Russia and China.

"We believe that they offer Iran the chance to reach a negotiated agreement based on cooperation.

She said that U.N. Security Council action against Iran would be suspended if Tehran agrees to stop uranium enrichment and reprocessing.

"We are prepared to resume negotiations should Iran resume suspension of all enrichment related and reprocessing activities as required by the IAEA, and we would also suspend action in the Security Council," she said.

However, "we also agreed that if Iran decides not to engage in negotiations, further steps would have to be taken in the Security Council," Beckett said. "So there are two paths ahead."

"We urge Iran to take the positive path and to consider seriously our substantive proposals which would bring significant benefits to Iran," she said, adding that they would now approach Tehran with the proposals.

The United States said Wednesday it would join direct talks with Iran if it agrees to suspend uranium enrichment, a major reversal of a decades-long U.S. policy of avoiding formal high-level contact with Tehran, reports AP.

O.Ch.