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Ahmadinejad: Iran in No Hurry to Judge Western Offer

  • VOA News

Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says Iran will consider the western incentive package meant to stop its uranium enrichment program, but will not pass judgment on the proposal hastily.

Mr. Ahmadinejad spoke Saturday to a crowd of thousands at the tomb of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini near Teheran. He repeated his assertion that Iran has the right to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes and that right is not negotiable.

The five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany agreed Thursday to offer Iran incentives and new talks, but are insisting that Tehran first suspend uranium enrichment. The western countries suspect Teheran is enriching uranium to make nuclear weapons.

EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana is expected to arrive in Tehran in the coming days to present the proposal.

Meanwhile, President Ahmadinejad discussed the nuclear issue in a telephone call Saturday with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Iran's state news agency said Mr. Ahmadinejad told Annan Tehran is ready for talks that are "held democratically without any precondition or any threat."

And the Vatican said in a statement Saturday that diplomacy is the only way to resolve the dispute over Iran's nuclear program

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