DUSHANBE, August 12, 2008, Asia-Plus - Iran''s president said on Monday that the United States now realizes that Iran''s nuclear program cannot be halted, and has no alternative to dialogue.

"In the course of the latest round of negotiations, the Americans clearly understood that Iran''s nuclear program will never be suspended, so they now have no other option but to conduct dialogue and cooperate with Iran," Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said at a meeting with Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who arrived in Tehran on Sunday on a three-day visit.

Iran said last Friday that the negotiations in Geneva with the UN nuclear watchdog had been constructive.

Olli Heinonen, deputy head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), discussed prospects for cooperation with Iran''s nuclear authorities. His visit to Iran came a day after the so-called Iran Six negotiating countries agreed to consider new sanctions against the Islamic Republic for its refusal to halt uranium enrichment.

At talks with Iran in Geneva on July 19, the six nations - China, Russia, the U.S., France, Britain and Germany - put forward a package of trade and nuclear technology incentives, demanding a response from Tehran within two weeks.

The answer took two and a half weeks to arrive, and European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana said the letter did not contain a clear response to the proposals.

Iran has repeatedly dismissed Western accusations that it is seeking to build nuclear weapons under the guise of a civilian nuclear program. The Islamic Republic has also consistently insisted on its right to peaceful nuclear research.