TEHRAN, (Reuters) – Iran is ready to hold talks with six major powers over its nuclear programme “in late October or early November,” Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said on Saturday.
“We think late October or early November will be an appropriate date for the talks by the representatives of Iran and 5+1 countries,” Mottaki told a news conference.
He gave no details about the venue of the talks. Western officials say they could take place in Vienna or Geneva.
Talks between Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council — the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China — as well as Germany, meant to address concerns about Tehran’s uranium enrichment, stalled in October last year, leading to a toughening of international sanctions.
The United States and its European allies fear Iran’s declare civilian nuclear energy programme is a cover to develop the capability of producing nuclear weapons.
Iran, the world’s fifth-largest oil producer, says it needs nuclear fuel-making technology to generate electricity.
Ahmadinejad has set conditions for further talks, saying a greater variety of countries must be involved, the parties must say whether they seek friendship or hostility with Iran, and they must express a view on Israel’s alleged nuclear arsenal.
The West is wary of what they see as Iranian efforts to dodge the main issue in talks, buying time for advances in uranium enrichment.