Iran said today the talk of sanctions by world powers against the Islamic republic over its nuclear programme is just an empty threat that has been ineffective against Tehran for the past 30 years.
"The nuclear programme of the Islamic republic is fully peaceful and the talk of sanctions is a threat that has been ineffective over the past 30 years," foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said.
World powers have stepped up pressure to impose a new round of UN sanctions on Iran for doggedly pursuing its controversial nuclear programme which they suspect masks a weapons drive.
Tehran has steadfastly denied these accusations and continued with its atomic work despite three sets of existing sanctions, saying Iran as a member of the Non-Proliferation Treaty it has the right to nuclear technology.
"We recommend that all countries accept the legal rights (of Iran) under the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), instead of using wrong methods such as sanctions and pressure," Mehmanparast said, according to Mehr news agency.
Efforts to impose fresh sanctions on Tehran have been stepped, with US President Barack Obama saying on Tuesday that the new measures could be levied within weeks.
However, China, a key veto-wielding power at the UN Security Council, is still insisting on a peaceful solution to the crisis.
China said today it was working for a "peaceful resolution" of the Iranian nuclear standoff, as Tehran sent its top negotiator, Saeed Jalili, to Beijing for talks on the disputed atomic drive.
"On the Iranian nuclear issue, China will continue to endeavour toward a peaceful resolution," Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang told reporters.
"We have always and will continue to push for a peaceful settlement of this issue," Qin said, adding that the long-running
crisis should be resolved by "diplomatic means".
Jalili arrived in China today for talks with Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and other Chinese officials.