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. No real reaction yet from Iran on nuclear proposal: German FM
BERLIN, June 17 (AFP) Jun 17, 2006
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said in an interview released Saturday that Iran had not yet really responded to the major powers' proposal for ending the standoff over Tehran's nuclear programme.

"Up to now we do not have a tangible sign, not a real reaction," Steinmeier said in an interview with the weekly Der Spiegel to be published Monday.

"What is, however, positive is that we are seeing for the first time in Iran a period of reflection," he said, adding that he hoped the Iranian leaders would "find a way to pass through the open door."

Iran on Saturday denied any contradiction in its reactions to the proposal from the five permanent members of the UN Security Council -- Britain, France, China, Russia and the United States -- plus Germany.

Tehran said the package of incentives in return for a suspension of sensitive nuclear work was still being examined.

The question of conflicting reactions arose after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took a conciliatory line Friday, saying: "We regard the offer of a package as a step forward and I have instructed my colleagues to carefully consider it."

But his comments came a day after Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khameini struck a harder tone when he said the Islamic regime would not bow to pressure -- implicitly rejecting international calls to suspend uranium enrichment.

The six world powers want Iran to cease uranium enrichment, which can be used for nuclear fuel but also to make atomic weapons. Washington suspects that Tehran is seeking to build a nuclear arsenal, a charge that Iran denies.

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