TEHRAN – President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad dismissed on Thursday any threat of new sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program, a day after world powers pressed Tehran to meet them this month for talks on the nuclear dispute.
Other officials separately said Iran would soon put forward its own package, referring to unspecified proposals to world powers, which Tehran has talked about for months as a way to help resolve international issues of contention.
But it remained unclear to what extent it would address Iran's nuclear work, which Tehran says is for peaceful power purposes but which the West suspects is aimed at making bombs.
Iran will soon present its updated package which deals with justice, peace and global security, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hassan Qashqavi was quoted as saying by the IRNA news agency.
The topics and the content of the package will be announced after it has been presented, Qashqavi said. State broadcaster IRIB said it would be presented before the U.N. General Assembly meets in New York on September 23-25.
U.S. President Barack Obama has given Iran until this month to take up a six powers' offer of talks on trade if it shelves nuclear enrichment, or face harsher penalties.
Iran, the world's fifth-largest oil exporter, has repeatedly rejected demands to halt uranium enrichment, which can have both civilian and military purposes.
Ahmadinejad, speaking as parliament approved most ministers in his new cabinet following his disputed re-election in June, said Iran was able to run its own affairs and would even welcome sanctions, Iranian media reported.
No one can impose any sanctions on Iran any longer, said Ahmadinejad, who often rails against the West. But anyhow we have presented our own proposed package.
Qashqavi, the Foreign Ministry spokesman, made clear Iran would not accept any pressure over the nuclear dispute.
Our nation is for dialogue and interaction but if they want to put a deadline using threats and pressure it will not be accepted ... there is no reason to back down, he said.
Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili was quoted by state television on Tuesday as saying Iran was ready to talk to the major powers and that Tehran had prepared an updated nuclear proposal, without giving any details of its content.
Another senior official suggested that any such talks would not address the Islamic state's nuclear work, but instead focus on international and regional issues, in comments carried by the website of a state-run television station on Thursday.
On Wednesday, Germany hosted a meeting of officials from the six powers -- including also the United States, Russia, France, China, Britain and China -- to discuss Iran's nuclear program.
Volker Stanzel, political director in the German foreign ministry, said after the meeting he expected Iran to respond to the powers' offer of talks by agreeing to meet before the annual U.N. General Assembly meeting .
(Reporting by Reza Derakhshi; writing by Fredrik Dahl; Editing by Dominic Evans)