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U.S. Won’t Back Iran Nuke Incentive Plan

October 21, 2004

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Bush administration said publicly Wednesday it does not endorse a plan by three European allies to offer Iran incentives to suspend its enrichment of uranium, a key step in producing nuclear weapons.

``Our view is that it’s a European proposal, that it’s for them to describe, for them to make,″ said State Department spokesman Richard Boucher. ``We haven’t bought on, signed or endorsed it, but we know they are going to do it.″

Britain, France and Germany plan to try to induce Iran to halt its nuclear program Thursday in Tehran. European diplomats say they will offer fuel and opportunities for trade with the European Union.

The U.S. view remains that Iran has shown no sign of cooperating with the International Atomic Energy Agency and the situation should be taken up by the U.N. Security Council, Boucher said.

Over the years, Iran has acquired technology to develop a nuclear weapons program, and that is cause for concern, the spokesman said.

The European strategy was taken up at the State Department last Friday at a meeting that included officials from eight nations _ the United States, Russia, Japan, Britain, France, Germany, Canada and Italy.

Iran has said it will continue to enrich uranium to generate electricity.

``We expect that our legitimate rights be recognized and that Iran not be deprived of nuclear technology,″ President Mohammad Khatami told reporters Wednesday in Tehran.

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