Iran President Says Ready For Nuclear Talks

ISFAHAN, Iran — Iran’s president says his country is open to talks offered by the U.S. and other countries over its nuclear program, if the negotiations are based on “respect” for Iran’s rights.

Hard-line leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says past negotiations fell apart because of the West’s demands that it rein in its nuclear program.

But he says “the Iranian nation has always been for talks,” but that negotiations have “to be based on justice and respecting rights.”

The United Nations has demanded Iran suspend uranium enrichment, fearing it could be used to produce a nuclear weapon. Iran denies any intention to build a bomb and has refused to halt enrichment.

Ahmadinejad spoke at a ceremony in a central Iranian town today.