Iran ready to halt nuclear programme if the West does the same

In view of the possible talks between Iran and the IAEA on the former's nuclear programme, Tehran has said it is ready to halt its enrichment programme and return to negotiations, but only if the West does the same.

Speaking to a large crowd in northern Iran, the country’s President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, called on Western nations to shut down their nuclear fuel cycles for a fair dialogue.

This statement came as Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, is set to hold talks on his country’s nuclear programme with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

According to Iran’s ambassador to the IAEA, a delegation will meet with the head of the agency, Mohamed ElBaradei, in the capital of Austria, Vienna, later.

Their meeting comes just ahead of a report by the UN's nuclear watchdog that could expose Tehran to broader sanctions over its nuclear work.