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Iranian Foreign Minister Says Tehran Preparing 'Package' for West


Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki is saying, Saturday, that Tehran is preparing to present a "new package" of proposals concerning international, political and security issues to the West for talks, soon. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad also indicated that a "package" was being prepared, several months ago.

Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki alluded, Saturday, to Tehran's yet-to-come, but apparently imminent, new "package of proposals."

He says that Iran is preparing a package on various political, security, economic and international issues and he says Iran considers this package a good basis for talks over different issues that the region and the world is struggling with today.

During a press conference, with visiting Omani Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdallah, Mottaki insisted that Iran had not received anything new from the just-concluded Group of Eight summit in Italy.

He says that Iran has not received any new messages. The summit ended Friday, he adds, and according to the news, the G8 participants had mixed views on different issues and could not reach an overall agreement on some of these issues.

U.S. President Barack Obama warned Iran, Friday, that the world was giving Tehran until September to comply with United Nations resolutions over its controversial nuclear program. Mottaki's remarks appeared to discount the importance of the President's warning.

French President Nicholas Sarkozy also told Iran, Wednesday, that the Group of Eight would allow Tehran a brief respite, until September, to negotiate, or face more sanctions.

Iranian President Ahmedinejad first spoke of presenting a new package of proposals to the West during the presidential election campaign in May.

The five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, plus Germany, known as the Group of five-plus-one presented Iran with a package of incentives to stop enriching uranium, but Tehran has pointedly refused to accept any deal.

Iran analyst Mehrdad Khonsari of the London-based Center for Arab and Iranian Studies says that he thinks Tehran's package of proposals will be aimed at changing the nature of the discussion that the West is hoping to have with Tehran.

"The strategy which the Iranian government has been pursuing was not to suggest that they are not interested in holding talks regarding the nuclear file, but to come up with their own suggestions to try to change the agenda of the discussions," he said. "What they are going to be proposing will, in essence, have nothing to do with what the five-plus-one want to discuss at this time and that will be used as a vehicle for trying to delay substantial talk regarding the nuclear file."

The G8 leaders told Iran, Friday, that it must not obtain nuclear weapons, despite repeated claims by Tehran that its nuclear program is intended solely for civilian purposes. The G8 summit also expressed "serious concern" over violence in the wake of Iran's controversial June 12 presidential election.

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