1938 Alert from AP:
GENEVA – Iran will not respond to incentives to halt its nuclear program before mid-July, at least two weeks past the date sought by the U.S. and its partners, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said Thursday after meeting Iran’s foreign minister.
“I don’t think they will give an answer before the G-8 meeting in St. Petersburg,” Annan told reporters after a meeting with Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki. The Russian meeting of the world’s eight industrialized democracies is to run July 15-17.
“I expect their answer to come after that meeting, but I can’t tell you specifically on what date,” Annan said.
The U.S. has said that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and diplomats from the other five nations offering Iran the incentives agreed by phone that they expect an answer around the time of a meeting of G-8 foreign ministers on June 29 in Moscow.
The United States reiterated that Iran should respond by next week.
The Bush administration is reluctant to set a specific deadline, but U.S. National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley said that it would be “helpful and useful if we could get a response and know where the Iranians are” before the June 29 meeting.