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Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 November 2006, 19:40 GMT
Iran will talk to 'corrected' US
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Mr Ahmadinejad said the US must stop interfering
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad has said Tehran is ready to talk to the US - once it changes its attitude.

His remarks follow suggestions that the US should start direct talks with the country to reduce the violence in Iraq.

US President George W Bush has said Iran must halt nuclear activities before any talks could begin, but Mr Ahmedinejad rejected this.

Meanwhile, the UN nuclear watchdog has criticised Iran for further enriching uranium despite the risk of sanctions.

In a report, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said that over the past two and a half months, Iran has produced a small amount of uranium enriched to low levels, but it did not give exact figures.

It also said the IAEA had discovered traces of plutonium at a site in Iran, and had asked Tehran for an explanation.

Nuclear rights

At a news conference, the Iranian president said his country sought positive interaction with the entire world, including the US - if the country changed its behaviour.

"We will talk to the US government under certain conditions. Should it correct its behaviour, we will talk to them," Mr Ahmedinejad said during a press conference.

The BBC's Tehran correspondent, Frances Harrison, says Iran is essentially re-stating its position - that the US must stop interfering in the internal affairs of other nations before any discussions can begin.

We will talk to the US government under certain conditions
Mahmoud Ahmedinejad

Mr Ahmedinejad said the minimum condition for talks would be that Iran would stand by its rights, including nuclear rights.

In its latest report on the country, the IAEA said that Iran was failing to co-operate with the UN on resolving important questions about its nuclear programme.

Discussion channels

So far, no formal offer of talks has been made by Iran. A foreign policy decision of this kind would normally be taken only by the country's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei.

The US state department said it had made an offer to talk to Iran specifically about Iraq.

"That particular channel did not work out," spokesman Sean McCormack said.

"If, in the future, we want to avail ourselves of that channel, then it is certainly a possibility. I don't think that right now that is something that is under consideration."

But, despite the conflicting positions, our correspondent says that there remains a desire in Tehran to prevent Iraq sliding into full-scale Shia-Sunni war for fear that Iran might get sucked into any conflict.


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