AFP: China urged Iran Thursday to take action to end the stalemate with the European Union over Tehran’s nuclear program and to reopen dialogue to resolve the issue. AFP
BEIJING – China urged Iran Thursday to take action to end the stalemate with the European Union over Tehran’s nuclear program and to reopen dialogue to resolve the issue.
“China hopes Iran will take active actions to end the current deadlock and resume discussions with the EU at an early date,” Vice President Zeng Qinghong told visiting Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, state media said.
China believes the nuclear standoff should be resolved through the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as well as through diplomatic channels and dialogue, Zeng said.
Mottaki is in Beijing for a two-day official visit.
Tehran froze its enrichment programme two years ago as a “confidence building measure” amid talks with the European Union on guaranteeing the safety of its nuclear programme.
Negotiations between Iran and three EU nations — Britain, France and Germany — on resolving differences were broken off in August, and Iran resumed enrichment.
Iran said Wednesday it was willing to resume dialogue with the Europeans but Iranian officials say they are not prepared to suspend anew their uranium enrichment programme, the condition posed by the troika for resuming talks.
The board of the IAEA last month adopted a resolution condemning Iran for resuming uranium enrichment.
The resolution found Iran in “non-compliance” with nuclear proliferation safeguards, a possible trigger for taking the matter to the UN Security Council.
China Thursday urged all sides to show patience and flexibility.
“We also hope the Iran side, the EU side can … adopt concrete and practical steps to break the deadlock so as to quickly resume their dialogue, consulation and negotiations,” foreign ministry spokesman Kong Quan said.