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. Iran says examining timetable for nuclear talks
TEHRAN, June 22 (AFP) Jun 22, 2008
Iran said on Sunday it was examining a timetable presented by world powers for starting talks on a package aimed at ending the five-year standoff over its nuclear programme.

Top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili said the "timetable with several steps" had been put forward when EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana delivered the package last week.

"They presented the package and also made proposals, a timetable with several stages," Jalili told reporters after a meeting with parliament, according to the ISNA news agency.

The proposal, which offers Iran technological incentives in exchange for it suspending the sensitive process of uranium enrichment, has been made public, as has a letter from the six world powers dealing with the nuclear crisis.

However neither the European Union nor the world powers have given details about a timetable which could envisage a series of bilateral moves as a prelude to negotiations.

Alongside the offer "they made proposals about the manner in which to start negotiations," said Jalili. "We will study their proposals and give our point of view."

Jalili did not elaborate on the timetable, but media reports have spoken of a "freeze-for-freeze" under which further sanctions against Tehran would be halted in exchange for Iran not increasing its uranium enrichment.

He said the idea of Iran suspending enrichment -- repeatedly rejected by the government -- was not part of last week's discussions, ISNA said.

The West fears Iran could use its programme of uranium enrichment to make an atomic weapon, but Tehran insists it wants atomic energy only for a growing population whose fossil fuels will eventually run out.

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