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. Iran ready to limit nuclear programme: report
LONDON, June 19 (AFP) Jun 19, 2006
Iran is ready to limit its nuclear programme but will not suspend uranium enrichment as a precondition for international talks, the Financial TImes reported Monday, citing regime insiders.

"Around 70 per cent of senior people may be prepared, under pressure, to accept an eventual limit on the number of centrifuges (for enriching uranium)," one of the two anonymous sources was quoted as saying.

The source added that Tehran would give the international community "objective guarantees" of the peaceful nature of its nuclear programme.

On Sunday UN chief Kofi Annan said the government of Iran is looking "seriously" at a new international offer of incentives for Tehran to give up uranium enrichment.

"We do have an opportunity to really move ahead and resolve this issue diplomatically," Annan said in Copenhagen after a meeting with Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

Iran said earlier Sunday it would not accept any "preconditions" for fresh international talks over its disputed nuclear research, implicitly rejecting demands that the Islamic republic suspend uranium enrichment.

The five permanent Security Council members -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States -- plus Germany have made a suspension of enrichment a non-negotiable precondition to their proposed incentives package.

The offer, presented to Iran on June 6, involves incentives and multilateral talks if Iran agrees to a temporarily halt the sensitive nuclear activity and cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Tehran is set to make a counterproposal within the next two weeks in response to the package of incentives, according to the Financial Times.

Iran insists its nuclear programme is a peaceful effort to produce energy.

Both Iranian sources stressed Tehran could not suspend enrichment because of domestic politics and did not feel under enough international pressure to act.

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