The spokesman for Iran's Atomic Energy Organization is warning that his country will enrich uranium to a higher level needed to power a research reactor if talks with world powers fail.
Ali Shirzadian told The Associated Press that Iran is open to discussing proposals on the issue at an Oct. 19 meeting in Vienna with officials from the US, France and Russia.
Those nations want Iran to send its processed uranium abroad to be enriched to higher levels for the reactor. Enrichment is a central concern because it can be used in nuclear power and research reactors or to make weapons, if processed further.
In an interview Wednesday with the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying that "there have been some proposals by individual countries and groups of countries. We are ready to hold talks with anyone interested. Our experts will soon start talks with those sellers," according to a Reuters account of the interview.
Haviv Rettig Gur contributed to this report.