Tuesday, June 20, 2006

FM: Iran not yet decided on West's nuclear deal

First Published 2006-06-20, Last Updated 2006-06-20 14:05:12

The time of threats is over: Mottaki

Mottaki denies deadline is given to Tehran to come up with answer on West’s nuclear offer.

-- Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki told journalists in Baku on Tuesday that Tehran had yet to make a decision on a deal offered by Western governments aimed at defusing the standoff over its nuclear program.

"It is not decided yet," Mottaki told reporters on the sidelines of a pan-Islamic conference in the capital of Azerbaijan.

"I can't say for the time being when the answer will be finalized. There can be some questions and doubts which should be clarified," he said, speaking in English.

The United States and its partners - Britain, France, Germany as well as Russia and China - have made Iran's suspension of uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities a condition for talks on Tehran's atomic program.

They have put together a carrot-and-stick plan to coax Iran into negotiations over its nuclear program and set out a June 29 deadline for Iran to respond.

Mottaki said Iran was "working on the proposal of the six countries," but denied a deadline was given to Teheran to come up with an answer.

"When this package was offered no deadline was given for our answer," he said.

On Monday, US President George W. Bush turned the pressure on Tehran, warning of "progressively stronger political and economic sanctions" if it refuses to freeze sensitive nuclear activities in return for talks.

Mottaki called Bush's comments a "threat" and said they were "unacceptable".

"It's as though some have forgotten that the time of threats is over. Threats are unacceptable in today's world," he said adding that "the political rights of Iran must be respected."
posted by ali ghannadi-irannuk


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