Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Iran 'will discuss nuclear halt'

BBC News:
Iran is ready to discuss the suspension of its uranium enrichment programme as demanded by Western powers, the country's foreign minister has said.

Manouchehr Mottaki told a news conference that Iran was ready to talk but still regarded any suspension of its programme as "illogical".

A package of incentives has been offered to Iran by six world powers in return for a halt to its programme.

Tehran has said it will respond to the offer by 22 August.

"We are ready to discuss all the issues, including the suspension. There is no logic behind the suspension of Iran's activities. We are ready to explain this to them," Mr Mottaki said. READ MORE

UN resolution

At the end of last month, the UN Security Council passed a resolution giving Iran until the end of August to suspend uranium enrichment and open its nuclear programme to international inspections.

The resolution said "appropriate measures" would be taken if Iran did not comply, although it did not threaten immediate sanctions.

The five UN Security Council members and Germany have offered Tehran a package of energy, commercial and technological incentives in exchange for halting its programme.

Iran insists the motives for its nuclear programme are peaceful, but the US and other nations accuse Tehran of trying to develop weapons.

Iran is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), but points out it is entitled to pursue nuclear power generation within the terms of the treaty.