US: Iranian response on nukes unacceptable

August 5, 2008 11:26:02 AM PDT
Iran's response to an incentives package aimed at defusing a dispute over its nuclear program is unacceptable, making the prospect of new sanctions more likely, U.S. officials said Tuesday. The officials told The Associated Press that a one-page document that Iran presented to European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana is not a definitive reply to the offer from major world powers but rather a restatement of Tehran's earlier insistence on the right to conduct peaceful nuclear activities.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because Solana's office has not yet characterized the document. They said the lack of a clear response means that discussion of new sanctions against Iran could begin as early as Wednesday, when senior diplomats from the six countries that made the offer will speak in a conference call to discuss the way ahead.

The United States and others accuse Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons under cover of a civilian atomic energy program. Iran denies the charge.