TODAY.AZ / Politics

US urges Iran to take time to study offer of talks

01 June 2006 [19:22] - TODAY.AZ
The White House urged Iran on Thursday to take several days to carefully consider a U.S. offer of talks on its nuclear program, despite Tehran's rejection of a U.S. condition it stop enriching uranium first.

According to Reuters, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino also said President George W. Bush spoke to Chinese President Hu Jintao by telephone about Iran. The conversation centered on the "way forward" in dealing with Tehran's nuclear ambitions, another U.S. official said.

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said in reaction to the U.S. offer on Wednesday that Tehran was open to talks on "mutual concerns,' but rejected Washington's pre-condition that it stop enriching uranium, the fuel for nuclear reactors and a vital component in atomic bombs.

Perino said the U.S. was reserving judgment until after a meeting of the five permanent U.N. Security Council powers plus Germany in Vienna on Thursday seeking an agreement on incentives for Iran to scrap potentially weapons-related nuclear work.

"We would hope over the next several days they (Iran) would take some time and carefully consider it," Perino said, referring to the U.S. offer of joining multilateral negotiations.

Washington and its allies suspect Iran is seeking to develop a nuclear weapon but Iran, the world's fourth largest oil exporter, insists its nuclear program is aimed purely at producing energy.


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