AFP: The US State Department said Wednesday that Iran’s response to US-backed incentives aimed at ending the standoff over Tehran’s nuclear program “falls short” of UN conditions to avoid sanctions. WASHINGTON, Aug 23, 2006 (AFP) – The US State Department said Wednesday that Iran’s response to US-backed incentives aimed at ending the standoff over Tehran’s nuclear program “falls short” of UN conditions to avoid sanctions.
Some 24 hours after Iran said it was willing to negotiate over its nuclear program, State Department spokesman Gonzalo Gallegos said Washington was still consulting with fellow UN Security Council members on how to respond.
“We acknowledge that Iran considers its response as a serious offer, and we will review it,” Gallegos said.
“The response, however, falls short of the conditions set by the Security Council, which require the full and verifiable suspension of all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities,” he said.
“We are consulting closely, including with other members of the Security Council, on next steps.”
The UN Security Council adopted a resolution last month giving Iran until August 31 to freeze its uranium enrichment program or face sactions.
Iran was responding Tuesday to a package of incentives provided on June 6 by the United States, Britain France, Germany, Russia, and China designed to entice Tehran to abandon uranium enrichment in return for various steps, including help developing a civilian nuclear power industry.
Tehran’s reply offered to hold immediate “serious talks” on the matter, but stopped short of accepting a freeze to uranium enrichment, a process which could lead to production of nuclear weapons.
Iran insists its nuclear program is for peaceful energy purposes only.