Tuesday, August 18, 2009
A senior Iranian official said Tehran was ready for negotiations with the West on its disputed nuclear programme based on mutual respect and without preconditions, state television reported on Tuesday.
U.S. President Barack Obama has given Iran until September to take up a six-power offer of talks on trade benefits if it shelves sensitive nuclear enrichment, or face harsher sanctions.
Iranian officials have made similar statements in the past about possible discussions on Tehran’s nuclear activities, while vowing not to back down in the row with the West.
But political turmoil in the Islamic state following its June election clouded prospects for dialogue and Tuesday’s announcement may come as a positive surprise for Washington, even though it did not mention next month’s deadline.