Optimistic comments from the Iranian foreign minister suggest that an accord with West may yet be reached.
Reuters reports that Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, in New York for a meeting at the UN, told reporters Wednesday that he did not think Israel or the United States would attack Iran before next January, when President Bush leaves office, and added that he saw a "new sort of atmosphere" in talks with the West over Iran's nuclear program.
Speaking through an interpreter, Mr. Mottaki told reporters that "constructive statements and approaches" and an earlier proposal by Iran had "paved the way for creating a new sort of atmosphere."
On behalf of the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and China, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana handed over an offer on June 14 of trade and other benefits designed to help persuade Tehran to curb its nuclear work.
"Very soon I will respond to the letter given to me by the six foreign ministers," Mottaki said at the United Nations.
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