Iran Rejects Quick Answer to Nuke Incentives Package

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Iran rejected calls on Tuesday for a faster answer to the package of Western incentives aimed at persuading it to suspend its controversial nuclear program, insisting that it will come up with a formal response in mid-August.

Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said Iran had to take time to carefully study the proposals before it offered a formal reply.

Russia urged Iran on Tuesday to accept the package of incentives and China also called on Tehran to respond quickly. But Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had said his country would take until mid-August to respond to the Western offer, prompting U.S. President George W. Bush to accuse Tehran of dragging its feet.

CountryWatch: Iran

Mottaki said on Tuesday that the mid-August date will remain unchanged, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported. "The date announced by the Islamic Republic of Iran for responding to the proposed package is unchangeable," IRNA quoted Mottaki as saying.

"The [mid] August date announced by Iran was based on the necessity for a comprehensive and accurate study of the package and is unalterable," Mottaki was quoted as saying.