Iran's president says he is open for talks with U.S. and other countries

Iran's president Thursday said he was ready to negotiate with the United States and other countries over his country's nuclear program, but warned that threats against his country would make talks more difficult.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made his comments after key U.N. Security Council members agreed to present Tehran with a choice of incentives or sanctions in deciding whether to suspend uranium enrichment.

The Iranian leader told Indonesia's Metro TV station that he was unconcerned about the possibility of U.N. sanctions, saying the West had more to lose than Iran did if the country was isolated.

"We do not need to be dependent on others," he said, adding international isolation would serve only to "motivate" the country's nuclear scientists.

Asked what it would take to begin talks with the United States to resolve the standoff, he said the country would talk to anyone except Israel, which Iran does not recognize.

"There are no limits to our dialogue," he said. "But if someone points an arm (a weapon) at your face and says you must speak, will you do that?," said Ahmadinejad, without elaborating.

While Washington has said it favors a diplomatic end to the dispute, it hasn't ruled out military force and is leading a charge at the United Nations for economic sanctions to be brought down on Iran.

Ahmadinejad is visiting Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation, on a three-day state visit. Later Thursday, he was scheduled to hold dialogues with students at two large universities in the capital, Jakarta, reports the AP.

I.L.

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Author`s name: Editorial Team