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NEW YORK - Iran will suspend nuclear activities when it is guaranteed delivery of a package of incentives offered by the West, Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul said in an interview published Sunday.

Iran's leaders "appreciated" the incentives offered by western nations trying to woo Iran away from its nuclear program, Gul told Newsweek magazine here last week.

"A good package has been given to Iran. During my visit to Iran in August, I met with all the leaders and they said they appreciated the package -- I learned this from (Iranian President Mahmoud) Ahmadinejad. He said that this package is different from the previous ones," Gul said.

"They said that when they are guaranteed delivery of all the things in the package, they will suspend. Both sides lack confidence," Gul said.

"With good intentions, I think there can be a solution," he added.

Ahmadinejad on Saturday vowed that the Islamic republic would not halt enriching uranium even for a short period, rejected a key Western demand over its nuclear programme.

The comments come just two days after talks between EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana and Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani on Tehran's atomic programme ended in Berlin without agreement.

The main stumbling block has been EU and US demands that Iran suspend uranium enrichment, a process that can be used to make both nuclear fuel and the explosive core of a nuclear bomb.

EU diplomats are still hoping Iran will agree to some kind of suspension under a deal offered by the five permanent Security Council members plus Germany that offers Tehran a package of diplomatic and economic incentives.

Iran insists its nuclear programme is solely for peaceful energy needs, vehemently rejecting US allegations it is seeking to manufacture nuclear weapons.

Tehran now faces a new deadline from world powers of early October for it to halt enriching uranium, diplomats said.

10/01/2006 15:06 GMT

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