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Middle East

Ahmadinejad wants new nuclear talks

Iran is ready to revive talks with the West, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said yesterday, as the country faces tougher sanctions aimed at forcing Tehran to sharply scale back its nuclear programme.

But Mr Ahmadinejad insisted the pressures will not force Iran to give up its demands, including the right to enrich uranium.

The EU imposed an oil embargo against Iran on Monday.

Iran had previously indicated it was ready for more talks and Mr Ahmadinejad is the highest-ranking official to make the offer. He accused the West of trying to scuttle negotiations as a way to further squeeze Iran.

"It is you who come up with excuses each time and issue resolutions on the verge of talks so negotiations collapse," Mr Ahmadinejad said. "Why should we shun talks? Why and how should a party that has logic and is right shun talks? It is evident that those who resort to coercion are opposed to talks and always bring pretexts and blame us instead."

The United States and its allies want Iran to stop making nuclear fuel, which they worry could lead to weapons-grade material and the production of nuclear weapons. Iran says its programme is for peaceful uses – generating electricity and producing medical isotopes to treat cancer patients.