Iran's supreme leader says his country will hold talks with the United States only if the U.S. lifts its "sanctions and threats" against Iran.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told top Iranian officials in a speech Wednesday that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and others are right in saying Iran is ready to negotiate on its nuclear program.
But he said no discussions will be held with the United States.
The U.S., the United Nations Security Council and the European Union have issued tough new sanctions related to Iran's refusal to stop enriching uranium. Many in the international community suspect Iran's goal is to create a nuclear weapon -- a charge Tehran denies.
Listen to the reaction from Craig Thielman, a Senior Fellow at the Arms Control Association:
Meanwhile, the head of Iran's atomic energy agency says his country is in the final stages of finding suitable locations for 10 new uranium enrichment facilities. Ali Akbar Salehi said Wednesday that construction on at least one of the sites could begin soon.
Separately, Venezuela's ambassador to Iran, David Velasquez, says his country plans to continue shipping fuel to Iran, in spite of sanctions.
Iran has established close ties with several left-leaning Latin American governments, including Venezuela.
Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.