Iran Won't Respond to Offer 'til August
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Wednesday his country will respond in mid-August to the package of incentives on its nuclear program offered by the West. "We are studying the proposals. Hopefully, we will present our views about the package by mid-August," Ahmadinejad told a crowd in western Iran in a speech broadcast live on state television. READ MORE
The offer, presented by European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana during a June 6 visit, provides a range of incentives for Iran to impose a moratorium on uranium enrichment, a process that can produce material for nuclear generators or for weapons.
If Iran rejects the deal, President Bush has warned that it can expect U.N. Security Council action and progressively stronger political and economic sanctions. The U.S. and Europe are pressing for a quick answer.
If Iran accepts the package, it has to suspend its uranium enrichment entirely before the six powers will start negotiations on a framework for its nuclear program.
Such a step would be politically difficult. Since Iran resumed enrichment this year after a three-year suspension, Ahmadinejad has repeatedly vowed never to halt it again.