Iran Foreign Minister Says He Welcomes Talks With the West

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Iran's foreign minister says talks with world powers on his country's nuclear program are a "possibility," in the light of recent offers of discussions from Tehran on "global challenges".

Manouchehr Mottaki says he welcomes talks with the West and that "should conditions be ripe, there is the possibility of talks about the nuclear issue."

Mottaki's remarks on Saturday followed the decision by the United States and its partner nations to accept Iran's offer to hold talks, even though Tehran initially said the nuclear issue was not on the table.

The remarks appear to be a step up from Iran's proposal on Wednesday for international talks and indicate Iran's eagerness to begin a direct dialogue.