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Russia backs new incentives for Iran to halt uranium enrichment

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Russia backs new incentives offered by six world powers to Iran in exchange for halting the Islamic Republic's uranium enrichment program, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Kislyak said on Sunday.
TEHRAN, June 15 (RIA Novosti) - Russia backs new incentives offered by six world powers to Iran in exchange for halting the Islamic Republic's uranium enrichment program, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Kislyak said on Sunday.

European Union foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, handed Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki a package of new incentives from the Iran six - China, France, Russia, the United States, Germany and Britain - on Saturday. The proposals offer political, security and trade benefits to Iran.

"This is a comprehensive package and Russia fully supports these proposals," Kislyak said.

Iran's government spokesman said on Saturday that the Islamic Republic would not accept any new incentives, proposed by the EU and world powers, in exchange for halting its uranium enrichment program.

Gholam-Hossein Elham told journalists: "If the package of incentives from the "six" contains demands for a suspension [of uranium enrichment], then we will not discuss it."

Iran is currently under three sets of relatively mild UN Security Council sanctions for defying demands to halt uranium enrichment, which it says it needs purely for electricity generation despite Western accusations that the program is geared toward weapon production.

Iran maintains that it has never been involved in research into the development of nuclear weapons.

A report released by the U.S. intelligence community in late 2007 said that Iran had ceased attempts to create a nuclear bomb in 2003. U.S. President George Bush responded that, "Iran was dangerous, Iran is dangerous and Iran will be dangerous if they have the know how to make a nuclear weapon."

Bush told journalists after a meeting with Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin this week, that "all options are on the table" when it came to Iran's nuclear program and reiterated that Washington is not ruling out military action.

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