Mottaki: No deadline defined

Iran Materials 23 June 2006 17:24 (UTC +04:00)

(IRNA) - Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said nobody should define a deadline for Iran to reply to the recent proposals of the 5+1 Group, adding US President George Bush cannot and should not haste.

In an interview with Italy's La Republica published on Thursday, Mottaki added no deadline was defined when the proposals package was offered to Tehran, reports Trend.

He said the only commitment of Iran was not to reveal the content of proposals until the start of the real negotiations.

"We fulfilled our promise and did not reveal the content of proposals. We believe a new round of shuttle diplomacy has been started," he added.

Mottaki said Iranian high-ranking officials including President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and top negotiator Ali Larijani have prepared themselves for making a "serious decision."

"Our judgment on the proposals package is positive," he said.

Asked about Bush's statement on the deadline, Mottaki said, "We need a logical time to make our decision and Bush should clarify that under what basis he says it is late or soon for Iran to reply." Meanwhile, French Foreign Ministry Spokesman Jean-Baptiste Mattei told reporters Thursday that Iran has some weeks not months to reply to the proposals of the 5+1 Group.

"The offer of the six powers to Iran is a good proposal. We call on Iran to respond positively. In our minds, it's a matter of weeks and not months," Mattei said.

President Ahmadinejad earlier on Wednesday set August 22 for replying Iran to the proposals.

The 5+1 Group presented its proposals package to Iran on June 6.