Iran said on Tuesday there were two ways of dealing with its peaceful nuclear programme, either engagement or confrontation, but that it preferred cooperation.

In a speech to the U.N.-sponsored Conference on Disarmament, Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi accused the West of double standards for supporting Israel, the only Middle East state that is outside the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

We have clearly stated time and time again there are two alternatives in dealing with the Iranian peaceful nuclear programme. One way is engagement, cooperation and interaction. The other is confrontation and conflict, Salehi said.

...Iran is confident of the peaceful nature of its programme and has always insisted on the first alternative. When it comes to our relevant rights and obligations, our consistent position is that Iran does not seek confrontation, nor does it want anything beyond its inalienable, legitimate rights.

(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay and Caroline Copley)