A handout picture released by the official website of the Iranian presidency shows Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
A handout picture released by the official website of the Iranian presidency shows Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad posing during an interview broadcast live on state television in Tehran. Ahmadinejad said on Sunday that Tehran is "ready for a dialogue" with the world powers on the nuclear issue and hopes that future meetings will yield results. © - AFP/HO
A handout picture released by the official website of the Iranian presidency shows Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
AFP
Last updated: October 19, 2011

Ahmadinejad insists Iran ready for nuclear talks

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Sunday that Tehran is "ready for a dialogue" with the world powers on the nuclear issue and hopes that future meetings will yield results.

"The best solution is cooperation," Ahmadinejad insisted in an interview on state television. "We hope that in future meetings (with world powers) if they occur, we get faster results."

He criticised the West's muted reaction to the letter sent by Iran in early May to European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton proposing resumption of talks over Tehran's nuclear issue.

A spokeswoman for Ashton earlier this week said that Iran's letter "does not contain anything new and does not seem to justify a further meeting" between the six world powers and Iran.

The five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany represented by Ashton are engaged in a dialogue with Iran over the latter's controversial nuclear programme which the world powers suspect is masking a weapons drive.

Iran denies the charge.

"I was surprised to hear that Ashton has taken such a position. We have stated our readiness for a dialogue in various fields based on mutual respect, within the framework of international laws and in a spirit of cooperation," Ahmadinejad said Sunday.

"Maybe Ashton expects that we have to accept her position when we have a dialogue. But then this is not a dialogue, this is a diktat."

An attempt to resume nuclear talks between the two groups in December and in January ended in a failure, with both sides sticking to their positions.

While the world powers want to focus on the Iranian nuclear programme, Tehran wants to expand the discussions to issues such as global security, global nuclear disarmament, the possession of nuclear weapons by Israel and the right of all countries to civilian nuclear cooperation.

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