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Germany Says Iranian Response Unsatisfactory

August 24, 2006 -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Tehran's reply was "not satisfactory."

In an interview on German television, Merkel said Iran's reply is missing a "decisive sentence" on whether it has agreed to halt uranium enrichment.

"We are still reviewing [the Iranian response]," she said. "But from everything I have heard, we cannot be satisfied. What we expected was not [in Iran's statement] -- namely, that [Iran] suspends uranium enrichment, will come to the negotiating table, and then speak about the chances and possibilities for Iran."

U.S. President George W. Bush discussed Iran's response on August 23 in a telephone call with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who is expected to travel to Iran in the coming days.

Details of Iran's response have not been released, but France and the United States have also labelled it unsatisfactory.

The UN has demanded Iran freeze uranium enrichment by August 31 or face possible sanctions.

Ahmadinejad's Letter To Merkel

Meanwhile, Reuters has obtained a copy of a letter from Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad to Merkel. Ahmadinejad sent the letter in July but its contents were not made public.

In the letter, Ahmadinejad wrote that Germany and Iran have both been subjected to "tyranny" by the victors of World War II and should cooperate to end the "imposed" world order.

Merkel rejected the letter last month as "totally unacceptable to Germany."

(compiled from agency reports)

Copyright (c) 2006. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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