Washington: Iran must halt enrichment before negotiations

The US is sticking to its demand that Iran halt uranium enrichment as a precondition for US participation in negotiations with the Islamic republic over its nuclear program, a State Department spokesman said Thursday night. He added, however, that the US would not rule out early consultations with Iran before official talks begin on resolving its standoff with the West. The spokesman went on to say that Washington would not dismiss the option of Iran stopping enrichment for a limited time in exchange for the removal of sanctions. However, he said Teheran must first give a detailed response to the EU incentive package, Israel Radio reported.