Thursday, June 29, 2006

Iran Rejects Calls for Fast Decision on Atomic Offer

June 29
"nuclear iran" -- Iran's top nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani dismissed U.S. and European calls to accelerate its decision over whether to accept trade and technology incentives in return for suspending its uranium enrichment program.

``We had told the negotiating parties that they will gain nothing if they show tough approaches,'' Larijani told reporters today, according to the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency. Iran wants to remove ``ambiguities'' in the proposal through negotiations, said Larijani, who heads Iran's Supreme Security Council.

Group of Eight foreign ministers meeting in Moscow said they were disappointed that Iran hasn't yet responded to the incentives package and expect a response during July 5 talks between the Islamic Republic and the European Union.

``We are disappointed in the absence of an official Iranian response to this positive proposal,'' a statement released by the ministers said. ``We expect to hear a clear and substantive'' Iranian response at the July 5 talks between the EU's foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, and Iran's top nuclear negotiator Ari Larijani. The G-8 comprises the U.S., Japan, Germany, Britain, France, Italy, Canada and Russia.

Iran says it wants to enrich uranium to low levels so that it can fuel a nuclear power plant. The U.S. and Europe are concerned that Iran will enrich uranium to the higher levels needed to make an atomic bomb. U.S. President George W. Bush on June 19 threatened ``actions'' by the United Nations Security Council should Iran reject the EU-led offer.

Iran may take up to two months before replying, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said June 21. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said yesterday in an interview with CNN, before her arrival in Moscow, that she hopes to hear ``very soon'' from the Islamic Republic.

Solana Meeting

Larijani will meet Solana in Europe next week to discuss the EU proposal, which was presented to Iran on June 6.

Nuclear technologies, airplane parts and World Trade Organization membership are among the incentives being offered to Iran in return for ceasing uranium enrichment. The U.S. has agreed to join direct talks with Iran once suspension is verified.

The EU's incentive plan was agreed on June 1 by diplomats from the five permanent members of the UN Security Council --the U.S., China, Russia, the U.K. and France -- as well as by Germany.



To contact the reporter on this story:
Jonathan Tirone in Vienna at jtirone@bloomberg.ne
posted by ali ghannadi-irannuk

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