US Urges Iran to Call off Nuclear Program

The United States on Wednesday called on Iran to live up to its responsibilities and give up its contentious nuclear program, as Tehran resubmitted an updated proposal to envoys of the P5+1 grouping to break the impasse over its contentious nuclear program.

“I think Iran has to live up to its responsibilities and end its illicit nuclear program,” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs was quoted as saying by media agencies.

“That’s not just the opinion of one country, that’s the opinion of the world. Let’s hope we see progress in them doing that.”

Gibbs spoke after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Monday invited representatives from a group of six world powers, including the United States, to Tehran for talks.

Ahmadinejad, however, said that negotiations over his country’s right to a nuclear program would be beyond consideration.

While Iran insists its program is peaceful and aimed at generating electricity, the United States and its allies contend that Tehran is covertly trying to build a bomb.

President Barack Obama and European allies have threatened Iran with tougher sanctions if it fails to take up an offer of nuclear talks with six world powers by the end of September, when the UN General Assembly meets and the G20 nations hold a summit in Pittsburgh on Sept. 24-25.

Tehran has already defied three sets of UN Security Council sanctions since 2006 for its refusal to freeze uranium enrichment.

In Tehran, Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki handed over Iran’s new package of proposals on its nuclear program to envoys of major foreign powers at the foreign ministry in Tehran.

Tehran said that the “package of proposals” was updated before being resubmitted to the P5+1 group consisting of the five veto-wielding permanent members of the UN Security Council — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States — plus Germany, reported AFP.

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