A senior Iranian official said Tuesday that Tehran was ready for negotiations with the West over its disputed nuclear program based on mutual respect and without preconditions, state television reported.
"Talks without preconditions is Iran's main stance in negotiations on the nuclear issue," Iran's envoy to the U.N. nuclear agency watchdog, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, said, according to Reuters.
"Soltanieh announced Iran's readiness to take part in any negotiations with the West based on mutual respect," the state TV report said.
Iranian officials have made similar statements in the past about possible discussions on Tehran's nuclear activities, while vowing not to back down in the standoff with the West.
Obama has sought to establish a dialogue with the Iranians on the nuclear issue and has set a September deadline for it to respond.
If talks fail, a next U.S. step would center on efforts to enforce tougher U.N. sanctions aimed at punishing Iran economically and further isolating the Islamic regime, which claims it is developing the technology for nuclear generation of electricity, not a bomb.
Israel has spoken openly of a military attack on Iran's nuclear facilities but is widely believed to have agreed to stand down to give the U.S. policy time to work.
An Iran Foreign Ministry spokesman said last week, when asked about the September deadline, "Naturally we are serious in defending our nuclear rights ... and we will not accept any limitations in this regard."
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has signaled a tougher approach towards the West, declaring last month that his next government "would bring down the global arrogance," a phrase used to refer to the U.S. and its allies.
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.