A leading Iranian nuclear envoy on Thursday suggested the country could reconsider its uranium enrichment program if it gets cast-iron guarantees of regular international fuel supplies for its nuclear power plants.

"We are going to continue as long as there is no legally binding internationally recognized instrument for assurance of supply," said Ali Ashgar Soltanieh, the chief Iranian delegate to the International Atomic Energy Agency.

However, he declined to clarify whether that meant that Iran would halt its enrichment program in return for such international guarantees, suggesting it might have to continue at a diminished level in case the outside supply stops.

Iran has steadfastly rejected international pressure to give up enrichment, a potential source of both nuclear fuel and fissile warhead material.

The United States says the enrichment program is designed to give Iran a nuclear bomb. Iran insists it is for peaceful nuclear power generation.

Soltanieh said Iran is forced to develop its own enrichment facilities to ensure security of supply for its power plants because it fears international suppliers would face pressure from the United States or others to cut deliveries.

That might change if all 145 members of the U.N.''s atomic energy agency concluded a legally binding agreement to guarantee a constant supply of fuel, Soltanieh told reporters after addressing a think-tank conference.

"Then Iran would be able to reconsider the position that we have now," he said.

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, speaking at the Asia Society in New York, also held open the door to negotiations.

Despite differences, Mottaki said enough "common ground" exists to justify more talks over Iran''s nuclear program, and "if sufficient political will exists" then an accord can be reached.