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Iran ignores West's nuke deal deadline

Aug. 3, 2008 at 9:05 AM
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TEHRAN, Aug. 3 (UPI) -- Western negotiators have given Iran more time to respond to pleas that it suspend its nuclear enrichment program or face new sanctions, sources said Sunday.

The deadline for Iran's compliance was Saturday, but Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ignored the timetable. Now European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana is expected to have a telephone conversation with the chief Iranian nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, Monday, The Independent reported.

Unnamed British foreign ministry officials told the newspaper the six powers negotiating with Iran, comprised of the United Nations Security Council nations plus Germany, will also confer Monday.

Ahmadinejad was defiant Saturday, saying Iran would not retreat "one iota" from its position that international agreements give it the right to pursue uranium enrichment for peaceful power generation purposes, the Gulf Daily News reported.

"Iran expresses its grave concern regarding the double standards used by the U.S.," the newspaper quoted Iranian negotiator Ali Asghar Soltanieh as telling the Press TV channel.