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Iran Hopes European Offer on Nuclear Issue to Be Comprehensive
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Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki expressed hope on Tuesday that Europe's latest proposal aimed to resolve the standoff over Iran's nuclear program would be comprehensive and balanced, the official IRNA news agency reported.

"We hope the offer will preserve the rights of the Islamic Republic of Iran as well as remove the concerns of other states," Mottaki was quoted as saying.

"We are seriously calling for a diplomatic solution to our nuclear case through negotiation and within the framework of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) with the objective of removing concerns as well as observing the rights of Iran," he added.

In an effort to persuade Iran to halt its fuel cycle work, the European trio of Britain, France and Germany are planning to offer Tehran a package of incentives in the trade, technology and security fields and penalties.

But Washington has ruled out providing security guarantees to Iran as part of the EU package, saying that security assurances are not on the table.

The European proposals are to be discussed at a meeting in London on Wednesday by the five permanent members of the UN Security Council -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States -- along with Germany.

However, Mottaki said that Iran still had not received a formal offer from Europe although the content of it had been disclosed to the media for a while.

"If we receive Europe's formal offer, we will discuss it and announce our decisions," Mottaki said.

The foreign minister also reiterated, "Iran will never renounce its nuclear rights under whatever circumstances."

Washington has accused Iran of secretly developing nuclear weapons under a civilian front, a charge categorically denied by Tehran which insists that its nuclear program is fully peaceful.

(Xinhua News Agency May 24, 2006)


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