Former Iranian President Says US Should Not Confront Iran on Nuclear Issue
18 August 2006
A former Iranian president has urged the United States to allow the standoff over Iran's nuclear program to be solved through negotiations, not confrontation.
Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said in Tehran Friday he hopes the United States has learned enough and will not enter a new conflict which would unsettle the Middle East region.
On Thursday, a senior U.S. official said the United States plans to push quickly for U.N. sanctions on Iran if that country fails to suspend uranium enrichment by an end of August deadline, set by the U.N. Security Council.
Under Secretary of State Nicholas Burns said the U.S. will press for sanctions in early September.
Iranian officials have said repeatedly that Iran has a right to enrich uranium for peaceful uses.
The United States and its allies believe Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons.
Tehran has said it will respond by August 22 to an offer of economic incentives from the five permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany. The incentives would be in exchange for a suspension of Iran's nuclear enrichment activities.
Some information for this report was provided by and Reuters.
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