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Helen Skinner

US reaffirms Saturday deadline on Iran, warns of 'consequences' Wed Jul 30,þ


Thu 7/31/08 2:43 PM


Deja vu all over again??
US reaffirms Saturday deadline on Iran, warns of 'consequences' Wed Jul 30,
12:16 PM ET

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States reaffirmed Wednesday a weekend deadline for
Iran to give a final answer to world powers seeking a breakthrough in the
nuclear crisis, warning of consequences on any defiance by the Islamic republic.

Iran was given a two-week deadline expiring Saturday to give a final answer to a
package of incentives offered by the five permanent UN Security Council members
plus Germany aimed at persuading it to freeze its sensitive nuclear activities.

But Iran has rejected any deadline, saying it was only agreed that it would
during a two-week period examine the proposal put forward by the international

The US State Department said Wednesday that the Iranians were aware of and had
acknowledged the Saturday deadline following talks in Geneva on July 19 with
representatives of the six powers, including EU foreign policy chief Javier

Asked about Tehran's insistence that it was not subject to any deadlines,
contrary to expectations of the international community, department spokesman
Sean McCormack said, "There are consequences diplomatically for defying the just
demands of the Security Council.

"It's clear. This is the other side of the two-track approach," he said
referring to the longstanding carrot and stick approach pursued by world powers
in dealing with Iran's refusal to end uranium enrichment, a process that could
be used to develop a nuclear bomb.

"Nobody is really desirous of going down that pathway. The P-5 plus one does not
want it," McCormack said.

But he warned, "This is serious stuff and we along with the P-5 plus one are
absolutely prepared to go down that pathway should the Iranian regime take the
world down that pathway."

McCormack's spoke after Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on
Wednesday that the country will not retreat in the face of demands by world
powers for Tehran to halt enrichment activities.

"Taking one step back against arrogant (powers) will lead to them to take one
step forward," Khamenei was quoted as saying by state television in a sermon.

"The idea that any retreat or backing down from righteous positions would change
the policies of arrogant world powers is completely wrong and baseless," said
Khamenei, who has the final say on all key policy issues in Iran.

Iran has been slapped with three sets of UN Security Council sanctions over its
refusal to halt enrichment. It insists it has the right to nuclear technology as
a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and denies Western claims it
is seeking to build atomic weapons.

I don't Know if this is some more saber rattling, October Surprise, so take it for what its worth, straight from someone Military, I know.

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