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Bush Insists Diplomacy First Option In Iran Crisis --> U.S. President George W. Bush (file photo) (CTK) May 9, 2006 -- U.S. President George W. Bush today said diplomacy is the first and most important option in resolving the crisis over Iran's nuclear program.

Bush made the statement a day after Iran's President Mahmud Ahmadinejad sent a letter to Bush, which, Ahmadinejad said, reflects the views of the Iranian people. The White House today said there will be no formal written response to the letter.

Meanwhile today, diplomats meeting in New York said they had not reached agreement on a draft UN Security Council resolution that would authorize possible sanctions against Iran.

Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, today said a proposal to allow Tehran to enrich uranium on Russian soil remains a possible way out of the dispute, but more time is needed to work out the details.

"Some countries -- such as Russia and China -- have more realistic positions [than others]," Larijani said. "Our advice to other countries of Europe is not to follow the policy of one country that will create headaches in the region. We think the European Union has the potential to resolve this issue."

China says Iran's nuclear program could be discussed next week when foreign ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization meet in Shanghai.

(compiled from agency reports)

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