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Iran prepares package to offer West-minister - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Worshippers shout slogans against US, Israel and Britain during Friday prayers in Tehran, July 10, 2009 (REUTERS)

Worshippers shout slogans against US, Israel and Britain during Friday prayers in Tehran, July 10, 2009 (REUTERS)

TEHRAN, (Reuters) – Iran is preparing a new package of “political, security and international” issues to put to the West, its foreign minister said on Saturday.

“The package can be a good basis for talks with the West. The package will contain Iran’s stances on political, security and international issues,” Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki told a news conference.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Wednesday that the Group of Eight major powers would give Iran until September to accept negotiations over its nuclear ambitions or face tougher sanctions.

In Iran’s first reaction to Sarkozy’s statement at the G8 summit in Italy, Mottaki said the Islamic Republic had not received “any new message” from the summit. “We have not received any new message from the G8. But based on the news we have received, they had different views on different issues which did not lead to a unanimous agreement in some areas,” Mottaki said.

Britain’s Foreign Office said it could not comment on Mottaki’s remarks as the package was still being prepared. The White House had no immediate comment.

U.S. President Barack Obama warned Iran on Friday that the world would not wait indefinitely for it to end its nuclear defiance, saying Tehran had until September to comply or else face consequences.

EU powers Britain, France and Germany have led negotiations with Iran over nuclear work that the West suspects is aimed at bomb-making.

Tehran says its nuclear work is wholly peaceful and remains defiant in the nuclear row with the West, saying Iran will not back down “even one step” over its disputed programme.

Together with the United States, Russia and China, the EU nations have offered a package of economic and other incentives to Iran if it will stop enriching uranium, a process that can produce fuel for power plants, or, potentially, a nuclear bomb.

Iran has rejected the demand, saying it has the right to pursue such work as a member of the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

In a separate statement, the G8 said it was committed to finding a diplomatic solution to Iran’s nuclear programme.

A picture obtained from Reporters Sans Frontiers on July 10, 2009 shows an Iranian protester flashing the victory sign during an opposition rally in Tehran on July 9, 2009 (AFP)

A picture obtained from Reporters Sans Frontiers on July 10, 2009 shows an Iranian protester flashing the victory sign during an opposition rally in Tehran on July 9, 2009 (AFP)

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (L) shakes hands with Oman's Foreign Minister Youssef bin Alawi bin Abdullah before an official meeting in Tehran July 11, 2009 (REUTERS)

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (L) shakes hands with Oman’s Foreign Minister Youssef bin Alawi bin Abdullah before an official meeting in Tehran July 11, 2009 (REUTERS)

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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