Iran 'always ready' for N-talks: Ahmadinejad | world | Hindustan Times
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Iran 'always ready' for N-talks: Ahmadinejad

world Updated: Nov 18, 2010 12:25 IST

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Thursday, that the Islamic republic was "always ready" for talks on its nuclear programme but blasted Western attempts to pressure Iran with sanctions.

"We were always ready for negotiations," Ahmadinejad said in the Azerbaijani capital Baku, while decrying attempts by world powers to "put pressure on Iran.

"They think that they will achieve something by putting pressure on Iran. But they will not. They hope that a blockade of Iran will change the Iranian people. But the Iranian people will not be broken by sanctions," he added.

Iran and world powers are set to resume talks on the country's nuclear programme on December 5, but the sides have yet to agree on a venue and agenda.

The talks are aimed at allaying Western concerns that Iran's nuclear activities are masking a weapons drive under the guise of a civilian programme, a charge Tehran has repeatedly denied.

Previous discussions were broken off after Iran in October 2009 rejected a proposal by world powers to exchange nuclear fuel.

The international community has since stepped up economic and political measures against Iran, and the Security Council in June slapped Tehran with a fourth set of UN sanctions.

Ahmadinejad was in Azerbaijan for a summit of leaders of five states littoral to the Caspian Sea to address overlapping claims to the sea's vast energy riches.