A top Iranian official, observing a South Asian regional leaders'
summit, has dismissed a Saturday deadline to reply to an offer made by
major powers concerning Tehran's nuclear program. VOA correspondent
Steve Herman reports from the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo.
foreign minister denies his country is facing any deadline to accept an
incentives package in exchange for suspending uranium enrichment
activities, or face additional sanctions.
speaking to reporters Saturday evening in the Sri Lankan capital, says
Iran is still awaiting a response from world powers to a package Tehran
proposed last month.
The Iranian foreign minister says once both
packages have been reviewed then there will be proper grounds for
The United States, Britain, China, France,
Germany and Russia on July 19th asked Iran to respond to their
incentive package. The Russians have rejected the notion of a firm
deadline and it is unclear whether any of the others will now insist
Tehran give an immediate reply.
Iran state television reported
Friday that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has vowed to use force
against what he calls "enemies" who want to curtail Tehran's
controversial nuclear program.
In Washington on Friday, Israel's
deputy prime minister, Shaul Mofaz, warned that Iran continues to
advance towards a military nuclear capability. The Israeli urged
influential governments to increase pressure on the Islamic Republic.
Iranian foreign minister Mottaki replied Saturday that Mofaz's assertions do not merit a response.
says Israel is a cancerous spot filled with its own problems and
comments from a state full of lies and corruption have no value.
is in Colombo as Iran's observer to the annual leader's summit of the
South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation. Officials from the
United States and European Union are also attending the summit as
observers but it is unclear if they have had any interaction here with
the Iranian official.
Western nations accuse Iran of enriching
uranium in order to make nuclear weapons. Iran insists its nuclear
program is for peaceful purposes.
The U.N. Security Council has imposed three sets of sanctions on Iran for defying international demands to suspend enrichment.