17 Oct 2010

Iran ready to resume nuclear talks

4:40 pm on 17 October 2010

Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki of Iran says Iran is ready to resume talks on its nuclear programme within a few weeks.

On Thursday, EU foreign affairs chief Baroness Ashton suggested talks could be held in Vienna in mid-November.

Dialogue between Iran and Britain, the United States, China, France, Russia and Germany - has been stalled since October 2009.

Western powers fear Iran is covertly trying to develop nuclear weapons.

Iran says its nuclear programme is aimed at meeting domestic energy needs.

Mr Mottaki, who was also in Brussels for an international conference on aid for Pakistan, described the offer as "good news".

Mr Jalili on Friday said that Iran welcomed the return to negotiations.

He told state television:

"We have always said that dialogue on co-operation with the Islamic republic of Iran is the only option."

The BBC reports Iran is under four sets of UN sanctions over its refusal to heed various Security Council ultimatums to suspend uranium enrichment.

The latest sanctions were adopted on 9 June.