Iran ‘ready for talks’ if West comments on Israel’s nuclear capability

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Sunday that Tehran was ready to restart talks with world powers on its nuclear program in November in exchange for a statement on Israel’s atomic capability.

He also said the West would have to determine if it wanted friendship or a state of conflict with Iran, and that the talks would have to be guided by the international atomic watchdog’s rules.

Israel is widely suspected to have nuclear weapons, but has refused to either confirm or deny their existence.

"We would like to know your logical and legal opinion,” Ahmadinejad said in a speech broadcast live on state television.

"You may keep silent,” he added. “But silence to us indicates that you are... backing the Zionist regime's atom bombs and that you are not seeking friendship.”

Iran has consistently insisted Israel must join the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Tehran is a signatory.

The Iran Six - the United States, Britain, China, France, Russia and Germany - are due to hold talks with Iran on November 15-18. Western powers believe the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program is aimed at the production of atomic weapons. Iran dismisses the claims, saying it is designed for the peaceful generation of civilian energy.