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Iran's President Says Iran Will Not be Pressured

  • VOA News

The Iranian News Agency on Friday has quoted Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as saying Iran will not be pressured into giving up its rights.

Earlier, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said she hoped Iran will seriously consider a new package of incentives to suspend its nuclear activities.

The world's major powers agreed on the package Thursday in Vienna. Rice said financial and technological incentives are being offered, and penalties can be imposed if Iran rejects the offer.

Rice discussed Iran in a series of interviews with American media. She said the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany hope that Iran will respond within weeks once the offer is presented.

White House spokesman Tony Snow on Friday said Iran must suspend its enrichment activities in order to move forward diplomatically.

Meanwhile, in Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin said it is too soon to discuss sanctions against Iran.

Earlier, Rice told CNN television that "Russia and China have signed on to the two paths" approach of incentives and punishment.

Snow said Britain, France and Germany are expected to make a presentation to Iran within days.

Before Thursday's meeting in Vienna, the U.S. offered to join European Union talks with Iran if it agrees to suspend its nuclear activities.

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki rejected the conditions for the talks. He said his country will not give up its right to enrich uranium.

The United States has not held direct, official talks with Iran since 1979.

The West suspects Iran is seeking to develop nuclear weapons -- a charge Tehran denies.

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