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Six Powers Agree on Incentives, Iran Refused Precondition for Talks
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Major world powers on Thursday agreed on a package of incentives for Iran to halt nuclear fuel work, said British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett.
"We believe (the proposals) offer Iran the chance to reach a negotiated agreement based on cooperation," Beckett said at a news conference.

"We have agreed a set of far reaching proposals as a basis for discussions with Iran," said Beckett.

The major powers' accord was reached at a Vienna meeting of foreign ministers from five UN Security Council permanent members, the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China, as well as Germany and EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana.

Meanwhile, Iran on Thursday refused any precondition for talks with the United States over its controversial nuclear issue, the official IRNA news agency reported.

"We believe that under current circumstances, negotiations without any precondition would be best solution to put an end to Tehran-Washington logjam," Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi was quoted as saying.

The refusal came in response to US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's remarks on Wednesday that Washington would join European countries in talks with Iran if Tehran suspends enrichment.

There would be no obstacle for talks with the United States on an equal footing, Asefi said, adding that Iran can not overlook its legitimate rights entitled by the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Earlier in the day, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki welcomed possible direct talks with Washington but rejected a US demand that Tehran must suspend uranium enrichment as precondition.

"Iran welcomes dialogue under just conditions, but we won't give up our nuclear rights," Mottaki reiterated.

"We won't negotiate about the nation's natural nuclear rights but we are prepared, within a defined, just framework and without any discrimination, to hold a dialogue about common concerns," Mottaki said.

The top Iranian diplomat said that there was no evidence that Iran's enrichment activity had deviated from peaceful aims so Iran would continue enriching uranium.

The United States and European countries claim that Iran is using its civilian nuclear program as a cover to produce nuclear weapons.

But Tehran has repeatedly denied the charge, saying its nuclear program is merely to generate electricity, not bombs.
Iran has repeatedly said that it will not give up its right under the NPT to enrich uranium and produce nuclear fuel for power plant.

(Xinhua News Agency June 2, 2006)

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