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Iran Says There Are 'Problems' With Nuclear Incentives


Iranian officials are rejecting some aspects of an international package of incentives aimed at convincing Tehran to suspend its nuclear program.

Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, told reporters in Cairo that the incentives deal has problems.

He says, "These proposals contain some positive points. At the same time, there are problems and ambiguous points."

In similar remarks in Tehran, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said Iran does not accept some aspects of the package.

Iran has not spelled out what its concerns are about the proposal, but Iranian leaders have repeatedly rejected the idea that they should stop enriching uranium, which is one of the main goals of the incentives program.

The package was assembled by Britain, France and Germany, and agreed to by the United States, Russia and China. It offers Iran incentives, which are believed to include a partial lifting of U.S. economic sanctions, as well as possible penalties if Iran refuses to stop enrichment activities.

On Friday, President Bush said Iran has weeks and not months to respond to the proposal. Larijani rejected that idea, too.

He says, "It was said that Iran was given a limited time period to agree. This is incorrect. There are no deadlines."

In Tehran, the Foreign Ministry spokesman echoed that statement, but added that Iran is not trying to buy time.

Larijani was in Cairo trying to win Arab support for Iran's position in the debate over its nuclear program. He met with Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa and with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

Larijani said Iran's nuclear program could help the Arab world, not threaten it.

He says, "The Iranian nuclear program does not represent any danger to the Arab and Islamic nations, because it deals with peaceful nuclear technology."

Iran says its nuclear program is intended only to produce energy, while the United States and Europe suspect Iran is trying to produce nuclear weapons.

Some Arab League members, mainly Persian Gulf states near Iran, are known to be nervous about Iran's nuclear ambitions. The Arab League has previously called for Iran's nuclear ambitions to be dealt with only alongside Israel's undeclared nuclear program.

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