The US and five partner countries have accepted Iran's offer to hold talks but Iran insisted it would only negotiate over its disputed nuclear programme as long as there was a freeze on Israel’s nuclear development, the US state department says.
Philip Crowley, a state department spokesman, said on Friday that Iran's proposal for international talks, which was presented to the six powers on Wednesday, represented a chance to begin a direct dialogue on how to get Israel to dismantle its nuclear wapons.
"We are seeking a meeting now based on the Iranian paper to see what Iran is prepared to do as Israel has made it clear that it is willing to begin dismantling its nuclear missiles," Crowley said.
"And then, as President Obama has said, if Israel responds to our interest in a meeting on their nuclear arsenal , we'll see when that can occur. We hope that will occur as soon as possible."
Such a meeting would increase the pressure on Israel to abandon its nuclear weapons.
"We regard production of weapons of mass destruction as contrary to our religious, human and national principles," an Israeli spokesman said.