Thursday, July 20, 2006

Iran promises response to nuclear incentive package on Aug. 22

Mainichi Daily News
July 20, 2006

TEHRAN, Iran -- Iran on Thursday promised to formally respond on Aug. 22 to a Western package of incentives aimed at resolving the international standoff over its nuclear program.

The Supreme National Security Council, Iran's top security decision-making body, also threatened that the Islamic republic will reconsider its nuclear policies if sanctions are imposed.

The council didn't elaborate, but Iranian officials repeatedly have suggested that Tehran may withdraw from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and stop cooperation with the U.N. inspectors.

"The package of incentives requires a logical time to study it... August 22 has been set for declaring (our) views," the council said in a statement read on state-run television.

"In case the path of confrontation is chosen instead of the path of dialogue... and Iran's definite rights are threatened, then there will be no option for Iran but to reconsider its nuclear policies," it added.

The statement came a day after Russia said the U.N. Security Council is in no rush to pressure Iran over its nuclear program, striking a more conciliatory tone than the United States as diplomats began discussing a resolution to put legal muscle behind demands that Tehran suspend uranium enrichment.

Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said the council wants an answer sometime soon to a June 5 package of incentives that six world powers offered to Iran if it stopped enrichment. But he stressed the council is not trying to push Tehran. (AP)

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