Iran dismisses US offer of talks
Thursday 01 June 2006, 0:40 Makka Time, 21:40 GMT
Rice's offer is a departure from the previous US stance
Iran has described the American offer of talks if Tehran verifiably suspends
its nuclear enrichment and reprocessing activities, as "a propaganda move".
"It's evident that the Islamic Republic of Iran only accepts proposals and
conditions that meet the interests of the nation and the country.
"Halting enrichment definitely doesn't meet such interests," the official
Islamic Republic News Agency (Irna) said on Wednesday.
Condoleezza Rice, the US secretary of state, said on Wednesday that the United
States was prepared to join Germany, France and Britain - known as the EU3 -
to meet Iran if it abandoned the enrichment and reprocessing part of its
But Irna said at the end of a dispatch reporting the US offer: "Given the
insistence by Iranian authorities on continuing uranium enrichment, Rice's
comments can be considered a propaganda move."
Iran, which is the world's fourth largest oil exporter, says its nuclear
programme is for civilian energy-production.
Washington and its allies accuse it of seeking to build a bomb.
Rice said on Wednesday: "To underscore our commitment to a diplomatic solution
and to enhance prospects for success, as soon as Iran fully and verifiably
suspends its enrichment and reprocessing activities, the United States will
come to the table with our EU3 colleagues and meet with Iran's
Rice leaves for Vienna on Wednesday to meet the permanent five members of the
UN Security Council and Germany to discuss a package of incentives and threats
to get Iran to abandon its nuclear programme.
Rice said the US had agreed on the "essential elements" of the package and she
hoped Iran's government would thoroughly consider the proposal.
A State Department official said Russia and China had agreed to return to the
UN Security Council to seek sanctions against Iran if it does not "accept this
offer of negotiations or does not negotiate in good faith".