Iran Ready to Talk Nukes

Ariana Cubillos / AP

Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili has said the country is ready to resume talks over its nuclear program, according to a letter obtained by the Associated Press. The letter was sent yesterday, prior to Iran’s latest threat to cut off oil exports to Portugal, Italy, France, the Netherlands, and Greece in retaliation for European sanctions. Iran coupled its threats on Wednesday with the announcement that it had achieved two major steps toward producing nuclear fuel. The letter, received by world powers on Wednesday, was a response to one sent in October by EU foreign-policy chief Catherine Ashton in an attempt to start a dialogue. Beyond being ready to resume talks, the letter offers no concessions. Meanwhile, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad oversaw the insertion of the first domestically made fuel rod into a research reactor on Wednesday. The move was perceived in the West as a defiant response to sanctions that are crippling Iran’s economy.