Iran is ready to revive talks with the world powers, said President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Thursday, as toughening sanctions aim at forcing Tehran to scale back its nuclear programme.

Even so, he insisted that the pressures will not force Iran to give up its demands, including to continue enriching uranium, that led to the collapse of dialogue last year.

The U.S. and its allies want Iran to halt making nuclear fuel, which they worry could eventually lead to weapons-grade material and the production of nuclear weapons. Iran says its programme is for peaceful purposes generating electricity and producing medical radioisotopes to treat cancer patients.

The 27-member European Union imposed an oil embargo on Monday, part of sanctions to pressure Tehran into resuming talks on the programme. It follows U.S. action also aimed at limiting Iran's ability to sell oil, which accounts for 80 per cent of its foreign revenue. No date is set for the possible resumption of talks between Iran and the five permanent U.N. Security Council members plus Germany. — AP