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White House Says Iran May Receive Nuclear Incentive Package Soon


The Bush administration says Iran could receive the West's package of incentives to suspend its nuclear activities within days.

In Washington Friday, White House spokesman Tony Snow dismissed Iran's rejection of the package this week, saying it cannot reject what it has not seen and it is only fair to let the Iranians see the proposal.

His comments come as the Iranian news agency Friday quoted Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as saying Iran will pursue its legal right to develop peaceful nuclear energy.

Earlier, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said she hoped Iran will seriously consider a new package of incentives to suspend its nuclear activities.

The world's major powers agreed on the package Thursday in Vienna. Rice said financial and technological incentives are being offered, and penalties can be imposed if Iran rejects the offer.

Meanwhile, in Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin said it is too soon to discuss sanctions against Iran.

Before Thursday's meeting in Vienna, the U.S. offered to join European Union talks with Iran if it agrees to suspend its nuclear activities.

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki rejected the conditions for the talks. He said his country will not give up its right to enrich uranium.

The United States has not held direct, official talks with Iran since 1979.

The West suspects Iran is seeking to develop nuclear weapons, a charge Tehran denies.