- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Thursday that his country is ready to resume nuclear talks with the world powers. The country is in the midst of facing harsher sanctions for their growing nuclear program.
According to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran will still continue to enrich Uranium, which the country has maintained is for peaceful purposes like electricity and medical radioisotopes, The Associated Press reported.
Iran has also offered to permit the International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors to visit its nuclear sites to verify that its nuclear program will not be used to make weapons.
The polarizing president said the West was responsible for trying to abandon negotiations in an effort to further sanction Iran.
"It is you who come up with excuses each time and issue resolutions on the verge of talks so that negotiations collapse," Ahmadinejad said in a speech in Kerman in southeastern Iran. "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 discontinue making nuclear fuel altogether, believing it could lead to weapons-grade material and the production of nuclear weapons, AP reported.
On Monday, the European Union (EU) imposed an oil embargo against Iran as part of various sanctions to push Tehran into reviving talks on the nation's nuclear proliferation program. The U.S. has also taken action to limit Iran's ability to sell oil, which makes up 80 percent of its foreign revenue, AP reported.
But Ahmadinejad said sanctions and the oil embargo will not work because Iran has minimum trade with the EU.
"Americans have not purchased Iranian oil for 30 years. Our central bank has had no dealings with them ... our (total) foreign trade is about $200 billion. Between $23 billion to $24 billion of our trade is with Europeans, making up about 10 percent of our total trade ... Iran won't suffer," Ahmadinejad said.
"History has shown that the Iranian nation has overcome obstacles. The bigger the obstacles, the more determined the Iranian nation is," Ahmadinejad added.
The president's comments have been posted on state TV's website.
"To blindly pressure and impose sanctions on Iran are not constructive approaches," the official Xinhua News Agency in Beijing said in a statement in opposition to the EU's latest sanctions on Iran. China, a large buyer of Iranian oil, has continued to push for the nuclear disarmament negotiations to be resolved with dialogue.
No date has been set to resume negotiations, which ended contentiously in January 2011.