June 15, 2008 in Nation/World

Iran rejects incentive deal

Washington Post The Spokesman-Review

TEHRAN, Iran – Iran said Saturday that a package of incentives offered by six countries was “out of the question” because it includes a demand for the country to suspend uranium enrichment activities.

The European Union foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, presented the proposal to Iranian authorities Saturday on behalf of the United States, China, France, Germany, Britain and Russia. He told reporters in Tehran, the Iranian capital, that the offer was “generous and comprehensive and a starting point for real negotiations” on the country’s nuclear program.

But Iranian officials said even before the offer was formally made that they would not consider any proposal that included halting its uranium enrichment as a condition to talks.

“If the package includes suspension, it is not debatable at all,” Gholam Hossein Elham, Iran’s government spokesman, told reporters at his weekly news conference, the Iranian press agency Fars News Agency reported. “The stance of the Islamic Republic is clear. Any precondition regarding suspension would be out of the question.”

Iran says its nuclear research and facilities are solely for peaceful purposes. But the United States and some European countries reject that assertion, accusing Iran of using its civilian nuclear program as a cover for developing a nuclear weapons program.

Thoughts and opinions on this story? Click here to comment >>

Get stories like this in a free daily email