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China minister for more talks with IAEA on Iran nuclear deal

China's foreign minister said there is still room to resolve the dispute over Iran's nuclear program within the IAEA .

india Updated: Feb 23, 2006 18:03 IST

China's foreign minister Li Zhaoxing has said there is still room to resolve the dispute over Iran's nuclear program within the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and has appealed for more negotiations on the issue.

The IAEA meets on March 6 to discuss the standoff, and could then begin a process leading to a review by the U.N. Security Council, which could impose sanctions on Iran.

"The days before the March 6 meeting of the IAEA are crucial," Li said.

It is unclear if Li has said that the dispute should be referred to the Security Council. The United States and other Western governments suspect that Iran's nuclear program is a cover for producing weapons, but Tehran says it is trying to develop nuclear energy.

The Chinese foreign minister "appealed to the international community to be calm, restrained and patient, and show flexibility in creating necessary conditions for the resumption of nuclear negotiations between Europe and Iran."

First Published: Feb 23, 2006 14:45 IST