Iran Nuclear NewsIran rejects U.S., EU calls for faster decision on...

Iran rejects U.S., EU calls for faster decision on atomic offer

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Bloomberg: 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. June 29 (Bloomberg) — 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.

French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy, in Moscow for talks with foreign ministers, said his country expects an answer on the U.S.-backed, European Union-proposed incentives by July 15, when the Group of Eight industrial nations hold a summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, reported Agence France Presse.

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.

Larijani will meet European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana in Spain next week and discuss the EU’s proposal, which was presented to Iran on June 6, IRNA said, citing Larijani. 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.

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