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Iranian FM Says 'New Process' Under Way in Nuclear Talks


Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki says a "new process" is under way in negotiations between Tehran and the West over his nation's disputed nuclear program.

Iranian state media Wednesday quote Mottaki as saying Tehran is "constructively" reviewing an international incentives package designed to encourage Iran to suspend its uranium enrichment activities. Mottaki says Iran also has presented its own proposal to resolve the issue.

Iranian officials have previously said they are willing to negotiate details of the incentives package, but refuse to stop enriching uranium.

Speaking at the White House, U.S. President George Bush says diplomacy is the first option to address Iran's nuclear program, but he repeated that all options are on the table.

In another development, a senior adviser to Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, warned Tuesday that provocative Iranian statements could hurt the country's cause in its nuclear dispute.

In an interview with an Iranian newspaper, Khamenei's foreign policy adviser Ali Akbar Velayati said world powers take into consideration every word of such statements, and he cautioned Iranian leaders to speak with more care.

European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana said today he is still waiting for an official response from Tehran on the economic and trade incentives package. He traveled to Iran in June to present the offer on behalf of six world powers (Russia, China, France, Germany, Britain and the United States).

The United States and its allies accuse Iran of working to develop a nuclear weapon. Iran says its atomic program is for peaceful purposes.

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

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