Reuters: China called on Iran on Tuesday to step up its cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency, as world powers raise pressure on Tehran to curtail its nuclear program. BEIJING (Reuters) – China called on Iran on Tuesday to step up its cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency, as world powers raise pressure on Tehran to curtail its nuclear program.
But Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing repeated China’s line that dialogue and negotiation should be favored over sanctions to urge Iran to rein in its nuclear program, which the West fears could be used to make weapons.
China is facing pressure from Washington and other Western capitals to back a stronger U.N. Security Council resolution against Iran.
“We hope all international efforts will be conducive to the early resumption of diplomatic negotiation to resolve the Iran nuclear issue,” Li told a news conference on the sidelines of China’s parliament.
“Any actions taken by the United Nations should be conducive to the promotion of regional stability.”
Iran rejects suspicions that it is trying to master nuclear bomb technology under the cover of a civilian atomic energy program, saying it only wants to generate electricity.
But six world powers, including China, are wrangling over a stronger resolution against Iran after it ignored a February 21 deadline set under an earlier resolution for it to stop uranium enrichment.
Iran’s failure to clear up concerns about its nuclear activities set it apart from all other nations, Mohamed ElBaradei, director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said on Monday.
Tehran says it is being treated unfairly, and has characterized U.N. sanctions as a U.S.-led campaign to stunt its economic development and topple its government.