Comments attributed to Ali Larijani, Iran’s Supreme National Security Council secretary, indicate that Iran would resume talks over its nuclear ambitions with “all countries, except Israel, that recognise the right of Iran, an IAEA member, to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.”

The comments came as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) prepares for an emergency meeting over Iran’s resumption of nuclear research on 2 February.

Tehran has consistently warned that attempts by the so-called EU3 of France, Germany and the UK to refer the Islamic republic to the UN Security Council, would result in a full withdrawal of cooperation with the international nuclear watchdog.

However, Iran is understood to be prepared to consider an offer from Russia to provide enriched uranium to the country in place of its own enrichment programme. Iranian first deputy minister of foreign affairs, Mehdi Mostafavi, said: “It is something that can be considered.”