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Russia opposes deadlines for Iran to respond to six-nation proposal
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Russia is against setting a timeframe for Iran to reply to the package of incentives for suspending its nuclear program, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in Singapore on Thursday, Russian news agency reported.

"There should be no artificial limits either in the sense of some deadlines, like 'tomorrow or never', or the endless dragging of this process," Lavrov said in an interview with Russian reporters in Singapore, where he is taking part in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Regional Forum.

"As for a time that some or another country would want to give for getting an answer from Tehran, political statements should be weighed with the real life," he said.

European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana presented a package of incentives to Iran last month on behalf of the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany, suggesting that Iran get a temporary reprieve from economic and financial sanctions in exchange for freezing its enrichment activities.

Iranian top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili and Solana held talks last Saturday on Iran's nuclear program in Swiss city of Geneva, in the presence of US Undersecretary of State William Burns and senior diplomats from China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany. However, Iran gave no clear answer to the package of incentives.

(Xinhua News Agency July 25, 2008)

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