Iran Says Nuclear Stance Unchanged, Ready to Talk

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Iran on Saturday said its stance has not changed but it is ready to hold talks with major powers over its disputed nuclear program, Reuters reported.

The statement came a day after the country said it would hold the latest in a series of talks in the second half of July despite the European Union's saying negotiations could start as soon as Iran suspends uranium enrichment.

Though Iran agreed to talks, so far it has rejected such demands.

"Iran's stance has not changed [on uranium enrichment] and we are ready to hold talks on the common points of the P5+1 incentives package and Iran's package," spokesman Gholam-Hossein Elham said.

The EU made Iran an offer to suspend uranium enrichment, and Friday Iran delivered its response. There is still no word on the content of the response, but Elham's comments suggest Iran does not intend to comply with requests from the West.

Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, told European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana that Tehran had prepared its response with a "constructive and creative outlook."

"We intend to study the Iranian response," Gordon Johndroe, deputy White House press secretary, said in a statement to The New York Times. He said the United States would discuss the letter with the five other governments — Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China — "before responding formally."

EU nations in June approved new sanctions against Iran, imposing additional financial and travel restrictions on a list of Iranian companies and experts, including the country's largest bank.

Click here to read more from The New York Times.