Iran hopes to resume talks with world powers concerned about its nuclear program, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Sunday, after negotiations ended in stalemate and with no clear agreement to meet again.
"If the other party is determined and committed to law, justice and respect, there is hope that in the next sessions good results would be achieved," Ahmadinejad said in a televised speech to a crowd in the city of Rasht.
Two days of talks with the United States, France, Germany, China, Russia and Britain ended without progress on Saturday with the group's lead negotiator, Catherine Ashton, saying no further meeting had been scheduled.
Ahmadinejad spoke as if there were no question that the talks would resume. "In the upcoming meetings there will be good agreements made, provided the two parties remain committed to the spirit of the talks," he said during one of his regular trips to the provinces.
He blamed Israel and its allies in the West for the lack of progress. "Uncultured Zionists and some people in America and Europe are hopeful the issues remain unresolved," he said.
The talks, held in the Turkish city of Istanbul, were meant to address Iran's standoff with countries that fear it may be developing nuclear weapons.
Tehran says its nuclear programme is peaceful and has ignored UN Security Council resolutions demanding it suspend uranium enrichment, the process which can make fuel for atomic power plants or, if done to a very high level, the fissile core of a nuclear bomb.
Ashton, the European Union's foreign policy chief, said after the Istanbul talks: "The process can go forward if Iran chooses to respond positively ... The door remains open. The choice remains in Iran's hands."
Iran says the other countries must respect its "nuclear rights" and that its enrichment activities are not negotiable. It calls sanctions which were tightened last year illegal and Ahmadinejad said Iran would not give in to "bullying".
The prospect of an Iranian atom bomb fans fears of a broader Middle East conflict should the United States or Israel opt to attack it, a mooted last-ditch option were diplomacy to fail.
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