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Iran 'Ready to Discuss Nuclear Issue'


Iran's foreign minister says Tehran is ready to discuss the dispute over its nuclear program with world powers that have raised the issue before the U.N. Security Council.

Speaking in Tehran Wednesday, Manouchehr Mottaki said his government is ready to discuss all issues, including demands for a suspension of Tehran's uranium enrichment activities.

In Washington, a State Department spokesman dismissed the offer.

The spokesman, Gonzalo Gallegos, said the U.S. is looking for an official response to a United Nations resolution adopted on July 31.

The Security Council resolution demands that Tehran halt uranium enrichment by the end of August or face possible sanctions. The United States and the other permanent members of the Security Council, along with Germany, have also offered incentives if Iran halts its sensitive nuclear work.

Iran says it will respond to the incentives offer next week, but it has repeatedly said it has a right to enrich uranium.

In his comments Wednesday, Mottaki said Iran is ready to discuss why halting uranium enrichment is "illogical."

The United States and its allies believe Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons. Tehran says its nuclear program is concentrated on generating electrical power, and has only peaceful purposes.

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

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