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. Tehran to "seriously consider" nuclear proposals: FM
TOKYO, June 7 (AFP) Jun 07, 2006
Iran will "seriously consider" international proposals aimed at resolving the standoff over its nuclear programme, Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki was quoted as telling his Japanese counterpart.

The proposals were presented Tuesday by European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana who visited Tehran and held talks with Mottaki and Iran's top national security official, Ali Larijani.

During a 25-minute telephone conversation Tuesday with Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Aso, Mottaki expressed Tehran's readiness to seek a peaceful resolution to the crisis, the Japanese foreign ministry said in a statement.

"Foreign Minister Mottaki said the talks with EU foreign policy chief Solana were held in a friendly atmosphere and that Iran would seriously consider the presented proposals," the ministry said.

Aso urged "Iran to hold negotiations with Western countries and not to miss this opportunity to have talks with the United States," the ministry said.

The proposals offer a variety of incentives and fresh multilateral talks if Tehran agrees to suspend its uranium enrichment.

The proposals were drawn up by Britain, France and Germany and backed by the United States, Russia and China.

Western officials have said Iran -- which has so far refused to freeze its enrichment work -- will be expected to reply within a matter of weeks.

Iran's Larijani said the proposals contained "positive steps" but also ambiguities.

"We consider that the European will to solve the issue through talks is a correct step, and we welcome this," Larijani told Iranian state television after receiving the proposals and holding talks with Solana.

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