Tehran: Iranian President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad urged the United States on Wednesday to join talks on a
nuclear fuel swap deal, reiterating that Tehran was ready to
start talks near the end of the month.
Ahmadinejad also repeated an offer to hold talks
with US President Barack Obama on "global problems" at the UN
General Assembly in September, although Washington has
rebuffed his proposal.
"He (Obama) missed the opportunity last year for a
fuel swap; today this opportunity is on the table again,"
Ahmadinejad said in a televised speech in the city of Hamedan
in western Iran.
"We are ready for talks based on respect, justice
and Iran`s proposals after mid-Ramadan (late August) and we
advise him (Obama) not to miss this opportunity," Ahmadinejad
Iran said on Sunday it was seeing a "positive"
feedback from the Vienna group -- United States, Russia and
France -- over the proposal brokered by Brazil and Turkey to
supply Tehran with nuclear fuel.
The May 17 proposal by Iran, Turkey and Brazil,
known as the Tehran Declaration, stipulates that Iran send
1,200 kilogrammes of its low-enriched uranium to Turkey in
return for 20 per cent high-enriched uranium to be supplied by
Russia and France at a later date.
The world powers led by Washington had previously
cold-shouldered the plan, and backed a fourth round of UN
sanctions against Iran on June 9.
The UN sanctions have been followed by unilateral
punitive measures imposed by the United States and the
The world powers suspect that Iran is masking a
weapons drive under the guise of a civilian atomic programme,
while Tehran insists its nuclear programme has no military