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Page last updated at 11:10 GMT, Tuesday, 15 July 2008 12:10 UK

Iran: Talks with US possible soon

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Ahmadinejad's comments come at a time of growing tension

Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said talks with the United States are possible in the near future, according the country's official news agency.

But he said that such talks would not happen at governmental level.

Tension has grown recently amid Iranian missile tests and speculation over a possible Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear facilities.

The US cut ties with Iran after the 1979 revolution and the seizure of 63 people at the US embassy in Tehran.

There have been very few official contacts between the two states since, though the two countries held three rounds of talks in 2007 over Iraq.

Incentives

"It is possible that in the near future talks in different fields will take place with the United States," Mr Ahmadinejad said in comments reported by Irna.

He added that in the next months "certain things will happen" and insisted that no power in the world could afford to ignore Iran.

"If the United States wants talks with Iran in fair conditions we welcome that. Nobody, so far, has rejected that."

The US is among six world powers which have offered Iran negotiations on a package of incentives, including direct contact and dialogue, if Tehran suspends uranium enrichment, a process the West fears could be used to make nuclear weapons.

Iran denies any intention to make a nuclear weapon, but is defying UN Security Council demands that it cease uranium enrichment.

EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana - who presented the offer to Iran in June - is due to hold his latest talks on the package with Iran's top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili in Geneva on Saturday.





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