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Iranian Cleric Denies Need for Nuclear Talks

Iran's supreme leader says his country does "not need" to hold talks with the U.S. over Iran's nuclear program. But state TV also reports that Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says Iran is ready to hold such talks if others recognize Iran's right to nuclear energy.

Khamenei, who has the final word on all state matters, did not give his position on a package of incentives offered by the West to persuade Iran to impose a long-term moratorium on the enrichment of uranium.

White House press secretary Tony Snow said the Bush administration does not consider Khamenei's comments to be an official response to the package. The United States and its European partners have said they are waiting for Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, to communicate with European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana, Snow said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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