Iran will reply Aug. 22 to incentive to stop enriching uraniumadmin
Iran said yesterday it would reply Aug. 22 to the Western incentive package to stop enriching uranium, but it also issued a veiled threat, indicating Tehran will not accept any deal that dilutes its nuclear program.
The statement by the Supreme National Security Council was Iran’s first mention of a precise date after weeks of being accused of stalling.
It said Iran ”has made plans to produce part of its nuclear fuel needs inside the country and is making efforts to meet its required fuel” ”” a process that entails enriching uranium for use in nuclear reactors.
The council also warned that Iran would retaliate if the world tried to punish it.
”In case the path of confrontation is chosen instead of the path of dialogue … and Iran’s definite rights are threatened, then there will be no option for Iran but to reconsider its nuclear policies,” the council said.
The statement did not spell out what Tehran would do, but Iranian officials have repeatedly threatened to withdraw from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and stop cooperating with U.N. nuclear inspectors.
The permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany offered Iran incentives June 6 to persuade it to suspend enrichment ”” a process that can produce material for atomic weapons, as well as fuel for reactors. The incentives include advanced technology and the easing of U.S. sanctions on the sale of aircraft and aircraft parts.
Last week, the world powers decided to refer Iran to the U.N. Security Council, saying it had taken too long to reply and had given no sign of wanting to negotiate in earnest over its nuclear ambitions.
The Supreme National Security Council insisted Iran wants to avoid a showdown.
”Iran is not after tension, but if others push things toward tension and create problems, then all will face problems,” it said. ”Iran believes dialogue is the most logical solution.”
By Ali Akbar Dareini THE ASSOCIATED PRESS