TEHRAN (Reuters) – Iran has prepared an "updated nuclear proposal" and is ready to talk to world powers, state television quoted the Islamic Republic's chief nuclear negotiator as saying on Tuesday.
The announcement was made a day before six world powers were expected to hold high-level talks in Germany on what to do about Iran's contentious nuclear program. The West suspects the Islamic state is seeking to build bombs. Iran denies the charge.
"Iran has prepared an updated nuclear proposal and is ready to resume negotiations with world powers," al-Alam, Iran's Arabic-language satellite channel, quoted chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili as saying.
The official IRNA news agency quoted him as saying Iran was ready to use its "capacities to remove common concerns on the international scene."
Such language may cause suspicion in Western capitals that Iran's proposal, like others before, fails to specifically address their concerns about its nuclear ambitions and is a ruse to buy time and avert the threat of more punitive measures.
A senior U.S. official was dismissive of the remarks attributed to Jalili, a leading nuclear hard-liner, saying there was "not a hint of substance" in them.
The official told Reuters he believed the comments were "timed to split the P-5 (powers) by giving China and Russia reason to break ranks on Iran sanctions."