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U.S. Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns (file photo) (epa)
June 30, 2006 -- The United States has reaffirmed that it expects Iran to formally reply to a package of incentives to curb its nuclear activities by July 5.
That is the date that Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, is due to meet in Brussels with European Union officials, including EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana.
U.S. Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns described the offer to reporters in Brussels today as "straightforward" and repeated that the process should take "weeks, not months."
Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki said on June 29 that Iran is "carefully" considering
the package but that its answer would not come before August.
The plan, drawn up by the five permanent UN Security Council members (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States) plus Germany and delivered to Tehran
in early June, offers Iran incentives in return for halting uranium enrichment.
PRESIDENT TO PRESIDENT: On May 8, the Iranian government announced that President Mahmud Ahmadinejad had sent a letter to U.S. President George W. Bush. The letter was the first direct communication between leaders of the two countries since Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution. RFE/RL has posted the English version of Ahmadinejad's letter that was posted on the Iranian president's website.
"The people will scrutinize our presidencies," AHMADINEJAD wrote. "Did we manage to bring peace, security, and prosperity to our people or insecurity and unemployment? Did we intend to establish justice, or just support special-interest groups and -- by forcing many people to live in poverty and hardship -- make a few people rich and powerful, -- thus trading the approval of the people and the Almighty for [that of those few]? Did we bring the world peace and security or did we raise the specter of intimidation and threats?"...(more)
For an archive of RFE/RL's coverage of Iran, click here.
THE COMPLETE PICTURE: RFE/RL's complete coverage of controversy surrounding Iran's nuclear program.
CHRONOLOGY An annotated timeline of Iran's nuclear program.