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Iranian Official: Tehran 'Serious' About Resolving Nuclear Dispute


Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, says his country remains serious about efforts to defuse the international standoff over Tehran's nuclear program.

Larijani made the remarks as he met late Thursday in Brussels with European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana. However, Larijani, did not provide a formal response to a proposal by major powers to provide incentives to Iran if it suspends uranium enrichment.

Iran is facing more international calls to respond quickly to the offer.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an Internet conference Thursday that he wants a quicker response from Iran, but that he does not support imposing sanctions at this time.

In Ankara, Turkey, the head of the United Nations nuclear watchdog agency, Mohamed ElBaradei, said he hopes Iran understands that the international community is getting somewhat impatient. He said the sooner Iran responds, the better.

The five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany have proposed the incentives if Iran suspends uranium enrichment. They have brought up the possibility of sanctions if it does not.

Iran has said it will not respond until August.

The United States and many of its European allies believe Iran is planning to build nuclear weapons. Iran insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.
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