Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

The Iranian president says if the U.S. “stops aiming a gun at the people of Iran”, he will personally begin talks with that country.

At a ceremony marking the 34th anniversary of the Iranian Revolution of 1979, Iranian media report that AMahmoud Ahmadinejad acknowledged the change in the statements coming from the U.S. and said there is a possibility that talks could be held in the light of “respect and justice.”

“I say it openly, a change in the manner of speaking is necessary but it is not enough. If you stop pointing the gun at the people of Iran, I will personally begin talks.”

The statement refers to the U.S. vice president’s recent offer to enter bilateral talks with Iran. However, Iran’s Supreme Leader scoffed at the offer and said it was being made in bad faith.

Earlier, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi had welcomed Joe Biden’s offer of direct talks as a positive move, and Ayatollah Khamenei questioned their optimism and attributed such sentiments to “gullibility or ulterior motives.” He stressed that offering to talk while the U.S. is holding a gun to the people’s head cannot be regarded as a genuine offer to negotiate.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said today: “I told them five years ago, we are a nuclear country and possess this technology, so now it is no longer the time for conflict and confrontation. The best position for us is to cooperate and collaborate.”