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Iran incentives said to include aircraft parts

Written by: Staff

PARIS, June 6 (Reuters) Incentives being offered to Iran as part of negotiations to end a nuclear standoff with the West include access to spare parts needed to renovate its ageing airliner fleet, Iranian officials said today.

But the head of the country's national airline Iranair, in Paris for global airline talks, insisted it would be wrong to draw a link between Iran's calls for an end to a longstanding embargo with the progress of talks over nuclear energy.

The New York Times reported that Iran would be offered the chance to buy spare parts from Boeing and Airbus and purchase US agricultural technology, in a package of incentives put forward by six powers today.

''I wasn't there but I was told unofficially that this is part of the package delivered by the Europeans,'' Iranair Chairman Saied Hesami told a news conference.

''Iranian officials have clearly set out the country's policy on nuclear energy. We have said that access to nuclear energy is everyone's legitimate right,'' he said.

''We are against any form of embargo. Nobody gave us our nuclear expertise; we acquired it by our own methods, so talking about what is being offered in exchange is not relevant.'' Another Iranian official, asking not to be identified, also confirmed that aeroplane parts formed part of the proposals.

Tehran's chief negotiator said earlier that the proposals by six world powers to end a dispute over Iran's nuclear fuel enrichment had positive points but also some ''ambiguities''.

European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana presented Iranian negotiator Ali Larijani with the package, agreed by the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany.

Hesami said Iran had been blocked from buying new European-made Airbus aircraft several years ago because of what he described as pressure on the manufactiurer from the United States. Although Airbus planes are assembled in Toulouse, France, some parts are American and need U.S. export clearance.

Airline industry officials say Iran has resorted to parts made in eastern Europe to maintain an ageing fleet of Boeings and Airbuses, some of which were bought second-hand.

Reuters SK VP0046

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