US gives Iran deadline of 'weeks, not months'
US also dismissed Iran's top leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's threat of energy supplies blockade from the Gulf region.Updated: Jun 04, 2006 22:51 IST
Giving Iran a deadline of 'weeks and not months' to respond to the incentives offered by the West to resolve the stand-off on the nuclear programme, the US has said Tehran's threat to shut oil supplies should not be taken seriously as it will hurt it too.
"I'm not one for timelines and specific schedules, but I think it's fair to say that we really do have to have this settled over a matter of weeks, not months," US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said.
"We will not allow Iran to drag this out... You don't want negotiations to be used as a cover for continued progress on the nuclear front. This package is put together to guard against a kind of extended set of negotiations while the Iranian programme continues. It is also put together in a way that gives Iran pretty clear choice of what choice to make," Rice told a talk show.
"... The international community is not prepared to wait while Iran continues down its path. The Iranians will get a proposal; they need some time to look at it. But no one among these six powers is prepared to simply let this drag on," the US top official maintained.
The six nations -- the US, UK, Germany, France, China and Russia -- agreed on Thursday to offer Iran incentives if it would give up uranium enrichment.
She also dismissed Iran's top leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's warning that energy supplies from the Gulf region would be disrupted if Tehran came under attack from the US, saying "I think that we should't place too much emphasis on a threat of this kind."
First Published: Jun 04, 2006 22:51 IST