The statement by Gordon Johndroe, spokesman for the White House National Security Council, came after Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad on November 14 said he was ready for talks with the United States -- but only if Washington changes its attitude.
Ahmadinejad also announced plans for Iran to enrich uranium for nuclear fuel at an industrial scale, using 60,000 centrifuges. Enrichment can make fuel for nuclear power plants or, if highly enriched, material for nuclear weapons.
In another development, the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency said in a new report that UN inspectors had found traces of plutonium and enriched uranium at a nuclear-waste facility in Iran.
The report said the agency could not determine whether Iran's intentions in the nuclear sphere are entirely peaceful.
Chinese President Jiang Zemin visiting the ancient Persian capital of Persepolis in April 2002 (epa)
TWO REEMERGING CULTURES: At a joint RFE/RL-Radio Free Asia briefing at RFE/RL's Washington, D.C., office on November 9, John Calabrese -- scholar in residence at the Middle East Institute who teaches foreign policy at American University -- discussed the growing ties between China and Iran in the context of China's economic boom and its overall relations with the Middle East. He also looked at potential sore points in the two countries' bilateral relations.
LISTENListen to the complete discussion (about 90 minutes):
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