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Ahmadinejad pledges new offer on Iran nuclear crisis

IRAN: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Wednesday that Tehran will offer a new package to world powers for negotiations aimed at resolving the standoff over its controversial nuclear drive.

“We are preparing a new package which will be ready very soon,” Ahmadinejad said in a speech in the southern province of Kerman, according to the official IRNA news agency.

The Fars news agency quoted Ahmadinejad as saying the package “will be presented to the P5-plus-1 group,” referring to UN Security Council permanent members Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States plus Germany.

“Iran will hold discussions based on this new package which guarantees peace and justice in the world,” Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying.

He said the package was a new version of one offered in May 2008, which Iran described as an all-embracing attempt to solve the world’s problems, and which suggested setting up consortiums — including one in Iran — to enrich uranium and manufacture nuclear fuel.

The 2008 package was offered after global powers proposed economic incentives to help Iran’s civilian nuclear programme in return for a halt to enrichment activities.

Uranium enrichment is a process which makes nuclear fuel as well as the core of an atom bomb, and the West fears Iran is secretly trying to build nuclear weapons — a charge persistently denied by Tehran.

In Washington, the State Department said it hopes that Iran’s package will address “all concerns” about its nuclear activities.

“If they come up with some new package with regard to their nuclear programme, we’ll have to take a look and see what it is,” spokesman Robert Wood told reporters.

“Our hope will be that it addresses all of the concerns that the United States and other countries have about Iran’s nuclear activities,” Wood said.

The US spokesman said the United States still sought to have Iran suspend its enrichment activities even if Washington no longer appears to link the demand with the start of talks with Iran. Tehran, Thursday, AFP

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