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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

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US Says 'Punitive' Measures Needed Against Iran

By VOA News

06 August 2008

The United States says punitive measures are needed against Iran over its response to a demand that it freeze its nuclear program.

The warning comes as diplomats from Germany and five permanent U.N. Security Council members: the U.S., Britain, France, Russia and China - prepare to hold a conference call Wednesday to discuss their next move.

On Tuesday, Iran presented a letter to European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana requesting further details about an incentives package offered last month in exchange for Tehran's suspension of uranium enrichment.

White House Spokeswoman Dana Perino said Wednesday that in the absence of a positive response, the U.S. and its allies will have no choice but to take further measures.

France says Iran's response to the offer was insufficient.

World powers had given Iran an informal deadline of August 2 to accept the incentives. Iran did not give a definitive answer by the deadline, and world powers demanded a written response by Tuesday.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said that Iran is ready to talk but not ready to stop enriching uranium.

The International Atomic Energy Agency says that deputy director general Olli Heinonen will travel to Tehran on Thursday for talks with officials.



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