Iran Considering Nuclear Talks: Foreign Minister

New incentives could bring Tehran to table, enrichment freeze
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 2, 2008 10:12 AM CDT
Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki speaks during the 18th international conference on Persian Gulf in Tehran, Iran Monday, June 16, 2008.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Iran’s foreign minister turned heads yesterday with optimistic talk about nuclear negotiations with the international community, the Wall Street Journal reports. Tehran is “carefully examining” an offer of economic incentives, Manouchehr Mottaki said, and won’t rule out halting enrichment work during negotiations. “We see the potential for a new round of talks,” he said, with both sides trying to “arrive at a new modality.”

Iran has steadfastly refused to consider an enrichment freeze, while the permanent UN Security Council members and Germany have refused to negotiate without one. Though Mottaki said a response to the latest batch of incentives could come "within weeks," US officials are skeptical about Tehran’s conversion. “No one is placing any bets,” said a State Department spokesman.