Ali Larijani, the influential speaker of Iran\'s parliament, said Thursday during a visit to Turkey that his country was ready for \"serious\" talks with world powers on its controversial nuclear programme. In comments reported by the official IRNA news agency, Larijani said: \"The negotiations can yield results if they are serious and not a game.\" He noted an offer made last week by Turkey to host the talks between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, plus Germany, and said \"we have given our agreement\" to that proposal. Iran has several times said it is willing to resume those talks, which collapsed a year ago. But the office of EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who represents the world powers, has said it is still waiting for Tehran to formally respond to a letter she sent in October last year offering to return to the talks. Larijani\'s call came after an assassination in Tehran on Wednesday of a nuclear scientist and increased Western sanctions on Iran\'s economy. Iran insists its nuclear programme is for exclusively peaceful purposes. But most Western countries believe it masks a drive to develop nuclear weapons -- a suspicion strengthened though not confirmed by a November report by the International Atomic Energy Agency.