Iran president says open to dialogue

May 9, 2011
CORRECTS VICE PRESIDENT'S NAME TO RAHIMI - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, center, makes his way during a departure ceremony for him as he leaves the country for Turkey to attend an international conference, as Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi, right, and advisor to the supreme leader, Ali Akbar Velayati, left, walk at the Mehrabad airport in Tehran, Iran, Monday, May 9, 2011. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)
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CORRECTS VICE PRESIDENT'S NAME TO RAHIMI - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, center, makes his way during a departure ceremony for him as he leaves the country for Turkey to attend an international conference, as Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi, right, and advisor to the supreme leader, Ali Akbar Velayati, left, walk at the Mehrabad airport in Tehran, Iran, Monday, May 9, 2011.

Iran's president says his country is open to talks with world powers about its nuclear program and will respond soon to the EU Union about the possibility of more dialogue.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, visiting Istanbul for a U.N. conference, said Monday that the willingness of European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton to return to negotiations is a sign that dialogue had not failed.

A round of talks in Istanbul in January collapsed after Iran said it would not freeze uranium enrichment. At that time, Ashton said no new talks were planned but that world powers remained open to more discussions.

The U.S. and its allies suspect Iran of seeking to develop nuclear weapons. Iran, which is targeted by U.N. sanctions, says its program is peaceful.