The US, EU threaten to keep up pressure on Iran, as oil price above $60

"We expect Iran to honour its obligations, and we have tried to find a way through the impasse over nuclear capabilities," UK's PM Blair told a press conference on behalf of EU, cited by IranMania. "It would be a serious mistake if he (Ahmadinejad) thought that we are going to go soft on them," he added, "because we are not."

This statement was reitirated by Mr. Solana, EU High Representative for a Common foreign and security policy: "We don't have any reason to change at this point of time".

Inspectors from the UN nuclear watchdog were back at work in Iran on Monday as Tehran sought to allay international fears that Ahmadinejad will be less cooperative with the European negotiators.

"The wider principles of our foreign policy will not change," said Ali Agha Mohammadi, a spokesman for Iran's top national security body that is handling the delicate nuclear talks. The President Ahmadinejad said the EU "should come down from its ivory tower and understand that they cannot talk to the Iranian nation in this way. We are ready for trust-building measures in all fields, but ... our nation is a great nation and they cannot talk to the Iranian nation in such an arrogant manner,” reports Yipei Times.

As Associated Press reports, crude oil futures held above US$60 a barrel Tuesday on supply fears and concerns that Iran's new president could undermine its oil industry, sparking warnings that persistently high oil prices could hurt Asia's economic growth. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad promised to boost the transparency of his nation's oil deals, clamp down on the country's oil "mafias," give Iranians a share of oil revenue and pursue a nuclear energy program. Some experts believe that these policies can undermine oil investment and lower oil output. The higher oil prices can in turn plunge Asian economies into recession.

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