AFP: Iran has shown "no indication" it is interested in a European-brokered deal to renounce its suspected nuclear arms ambitions, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Thursday. Speaking to reporters after talks with Danish Foreign Minister Stig Moeller, Rice backed the initiative by France, Germany and Britain to offer Tehran incentives if it will give up its suspected nuclear program. AFP

WASHINGTON - Iran has shown "no indication" it is interested in a European-brokered deal to renounce its suspected nuclear arms ambitions, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Thursday.

Speaking to reporters after talks with Danish Foreign Minister Stig Moeller, Rice backed the initiative by France, Germany and Britain to offer Tehran incentives if it will give up its suspected nuclear program.

But she added: "Thus far the Iranians have shown no indication that they are interested in taking that deal."

Rice said the possibility of UN Security Council sanctions remained an option "if we cannot get satisfaction about Iranian activities."

The chief US diplomat made her remarks as Washington was mulling European proposals for possible carrots to offer Tehran if it will give up activities that could lead to production of a nuclear bomb.

"We believe that the EU negotiations are leading in the right direction because what they are doing is they are confonting Iran with a choice about whether it is prepared to give the international community the kind of confidence it needs about Iranian activities," Rice said.

US officials initially reacted sceptically to the European effort and pushed for a referral to the UN Security Council. But the allies have sought to bridge their differences since President George W. Bush's European trip last month.

Rice said Thursday "we believe that the Iranian situation can be resolved diplomatically" and "we are supporting the EU-3 negotiations" but there was no timetable for a decision on possible incentives for Tehran.

She added, however, that "there is considerable concern about a number of Iranian activities," and reports from a meeting in Vienna of the UN nuclear watchdog were heightening suspicions about Tehran's intentions.

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