July 6, 2008

Iran Unlikely to Accept Limit on Uranium


By Ali Akbar Dareini

The Associated Press


Iran indicated Saturday that it has no plans to meet a key Western demand that it stop enriching uranium. That came a day after Tehran sent the European Union a response to an international offer of incentives for halting enrichment.

The content of that response has not been made public and there was caution about the prospects of progress.

"It was not something that made us jump up and down for joy," said one European official, who spoke on condition of anonymity . "We are in a holding mode until we get a chance to look at it more closely."

White House press secretary Dana Perino told reporters traveling with President Bush en route to a G-8 summit in Japan that the U.S. administration was still evaluating Iran's response.

A positive response could open the way to renewed negotiations that might help cool recent sharp exchanges between officials on the two sides. In recent weeks the United States and Iran have traded threats and warnings over possible American or Israeli military action.

But Iranian government spokesman Gholam Hossein Elham insisted Tehran would not change the central part of its program. Uranium enrichment can produce either fuel for a nuclear reactor or material for a warhead. Iran insists its enrichment work is intended to produce fuel for nuclear reactors that would generate electricity.

Originally published by BY ALI AKBAR DAREINI.

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