Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, responding to a looming deadline that could lead to another round of sanctions against his country, has said he is ready to hold talks with the West. But he said he will not stop enriching uranium or negotiate over Iran's "rights."
Ahmadinejad said Monday he will give the U.N. Security Council and Germany a package of proposals for talks about meeting "global challenges," which could come as soon as this week, The Associated Press reported. But he also said that "from our point of view the nuclear issue is over," and Iran would never give up its "obvious rights."
Western leaders have given Iran until the end of September to decide whether to enter negotiations over its nuclear program. Ahmadinejad, who was recently sworn in for another term after violently cracking down on protesters who said his reelection was rigged, has dismissed the West's deadline as "incompatible with the world."
The U.S. and some allies have accused Iran of operating a covert scheme to develop nuclear weapons. Iran maintains its nuclear program is peaceful.