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U.S. agrees to EU's Iran nuclear plan

  • Story Highlights
  • Plan offers incentives to Iran for halting nuclear program
  • Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany expected to meet with Iran
  • Iranian president says 6,000 new centrifuges to become operational
  • Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes
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From Elise Labott
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The United States has signed off on a European plan that would offer increased incentives for Iran to suspend its uranium enrichment program, senior State Department officials said Thursday.


Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says 6,000 new centrifuges will soon be operational.

Leaders from Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany are expected to join European Union Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana -- the EU's normal contact with Iran -- at a meeting with Iranian officials to present the offer.

That meeting has not been scheduled, the officials said.

The United States, along with the other nations, has been following a "dual track strategy" with Iran, which includes tightening sanctions on the regime while offering incentives if Iran suspends its enrichment activities.

Last week in London, England, the group of nations agreed to sweeten the unspecified offer to Iran if it agreed to suspend its uranium enrichment program.

Last month, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said 6,000 new centrifuges will become operational at Iran's uranium-enrichment plant in Natanz over the coming year, a claim the United States cannot confirm.

Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes. But after a meeting last month with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, President Bush said it is "naive" to think Iran would not be able to transfer nuclear enrichment into a weapons program.

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