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Iran FM: Bush Should Be Patient for Response to Incentives Offer


Iran's foreign minister says President Bush should not be in a hurry for a response to a Western incentives package aimed at curbing Tehran's sensitive nuclear activities.

In comments broadcast Wednesday on Italian state television, Manouchehr Mottaki said no deadline was agreed on when European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana presented the package to Iran on June 6.

Mottaki spoke during a diplomatic visit to Rome.

Earlier today, Mr. Bush said Iran's plan to respond in late August to the incentives package is an "awful long time" to wait for an answer. He said it should not take Iran that long to analyze what he called a reasonable deal.

The president made his remarks in Vienna after meeting with EU leaders for a one-day summit on Iran and other issues.

President Bush also said major world powers are united in the goal of preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons. He said the U.S. is willing to join international talks on the matter if Iran first suspends uranium enrichment.

The incentives package also involves multilateral talks if Iran agrees to suspend uranium enrichment and cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The U.S. and Europe believe Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons, a charge Tehran denies.

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