Iran wants a "win-win" solution to emerge from mooted talks with world powers on its disputed nuclear program that should begin as soon as possible, Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said on Sunday.
Salehi, speaking at a joint media conference with his visiting Nicaraguan counterpart, stressed that Tehran favored Istanbul as the venue for the talks, but was waiting for the European Union to present its proposal.
"We are looking for a mechanism for a solution for the nuclear issue in a way that it is win-win for both sides," he said.
"We understand the other side's position and we want them to have conditions to save face. We are going into the talks with a positive outlook and we hope they will come to the negotiations with goodwill."
Iran has sent a letter replying to an EU offer made in October to resurrect talks that collapsed in Istanbul in January 2011.
The European Union and the United States greeted the Iranian reply with cautious optimism. EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who made the October offer, called it "an important step" amid high international tensions over Iran.
Once a time and place are agreed, the negotiations between Iran and the so-called P5+1 group -- the five permanent U.N. Security Council members and Germany -- are expected to concentrate on Tehran's nuclear program.
The United Nations and the West have imposed a raft of sanctions on Iran in an unsuccessful effort to force it to halt its atomic activities.
The Western measures have badly impacted Iran's economy, but Tehran has responded by ramping up its uranium enrichment.
Salehi railed at what he saw as a "colonialist mindset" by the Western members of the P5+1, all of whom suspect Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons despite Tehran's repeated denials.
Britain in particular drew his ire, after Foreign Secretary William Hague's warning last Friday that an Iran with nuclear weapons capability could trigger "a disaster in world affairs" by sparking a "new Cold War in the Middle East".
Hague's remarks were "propaganda" designed to spur media hype, Salehi said.
"They think they can create concern. But we will go ahead with dignity and we are not worried because we consider we are in the right. We are sure about our peaceful nuclear activities," he said.
"Nonetheless we are ready for the worst-case scenario," he said, responding to threats from the United States and Israel of possible military action targeting Iran's nuclear facilities.
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