Iran says its ready for nuclear talks

Feb. 22, 2013 at 9:04 AM

UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 22 (UPI) -- Iran stands by a policy of favoring negotiations with the international community over aggressive rhetoric, the Iran's U.N. Ambassador Mohammad Khazaei said.

Khazaei, the Iranian envoy to the United Nations, said Tehran was interested in direct talks with U.S. officials on nuclear issues.

"As the representative of the Islamic Republic, I announce that Iran is not essentially against negotiations. Iranians are a civilized nation and always favor dialogue and are opposed to war," he was quoted by Iran's state-funded broadcaster Press TV.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden told a security conference in Germany in early February the U.S. government was interested in nuclear talks provided Iran was serious about the negotiations.

The International Atomic Energy Agency reported Thursday that Iran had installed new uranium centrifuges at its Natanz nuclear facility. Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes thought the IAEA said there may be military dimensions to Tehran's actions.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said last week he was looking for progress during upcoming talks between Iran, the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany. The next such talks are scheduled for Tuesday in Kazakhstan.

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