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Iran Says It Might Offer Counter Proposal on Nuclear Program


Iran's foreign minister says his country may make a counter-offer in response to an international package of incentives to limit sensitive nuclear work.

Manouchehr Mottaki says Saturday Iran is studying the proposal and may also suggest amendments for European negotiators to study.

The package was drawn up by the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany.

President Bush says Iran has weeks, not months, to respond to the package. He warned that the Security Council will take action if Iran fails to suspend its uranium enrichment program.

A top hardline Iranian cleric, Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, said Friday his country should continue to enrich uranium.

The U.N. nuclear agency said, in a report circulated Thursday, that Iran started a new round of uranium enrichment this week.

The incentives package is said to include international support for Iran's effort to build a nuclear power plant. The U.S. also would agree to drop some trade sanctions and allow Iran to buy spare parts for its aging fleet of American-made aircraft.

The proposal is believed to include a threat of sanctions if Iran fails to curb its nuclear activities.

The United States and Europe suspect Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons. Tehran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.

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