DUBAI, Feb 9 (Reuters) - Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
said on Sunday Tehran would not negotiate about its disputed
nuclear programme under pressure, but would talk to its
adversaries if they stopped 'pointing the gun'.
In a speech to mark the 34th anniversary of the Islamic
revolution, Ahmadinejad struck a more conciliatory tone than
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who on Feb. 7 rebuffed a
U.S. call for direct negotiations on disputes between the two
Ahmadinejad does not have the authority to authorise
negotiations over the nuclear programme, which lies with
The U.S. and some of its allies suspect Iran may be trying
to develop atomic weapons capability under the cover of a
civilian nuclear energy programme, a charge Iran has denied.
'You cannot point a gun at the Iranian nation and then
expect them to have negotiations with you,' Ahmadinejad said,
speaking to a crowd gathered in Tehran's Azadi (Freedom) Square.
His speech, which partly dealt with Iran's policy towards
its 'enemies', was carried live on Iranian state television.
'Talks should not be used as a lever to impose one's
He added: 'If you stop pointing the gun at the Iranian
nation, I will negotiate (with you) myself.'
Khamenei on Thursday slapped down an offer of direct
negotiations with the United States, saying negotiations and
pressure were incompatible.
(Reporting By Yeganeh Torbati, Editing by William Maclean and
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