Diplomacy can still resolve Iran N-issue: China
China also urged Tehran to keep talking with Russia over Moscow's compromise proposal.Updated: Mar 14, 2006 17:33 IST
The crisis over Iran's nuclear programme can still be resolved through diplomacy, China insisted on Tuesday, as it urged Tehran to keep talking with Russia over Moscow's compromise proposal.
"China believes Russia's proposal is a beneficial attempt to break through the standoff of the Iranian nuclear issue," foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang told reporters.
"We support the negotiations between Iran and Russia and hope the negotiations will make progress at an early date."
Iran said on Sunday the compromise proposal from Russia was "off the agenda" but subsequently clarified its position to say that the plan was still negotiable.
Iran then said on Tuesday it had resumed negotiations with Moscow.
The talks in Moscow cover a proposal by Russia to enrich uranium on behalf of Iran on Russian territory to ensure Iran's nuclear programme is not diverted towards weapons production as alleged by the United States.
Enriched uranium is used in the nuclear fuel cycle but it can also make the core of an atomic bomb.
The developments came after envoys of Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States -- the five veto-wielding, permanent members of the UN Security Council -- met on Monday in New York.
They were expected to hold more talks on Tuesday.
The United States also on Monday renewed economic sanctions on Iran that were first imposed in 1995, as US President George W Bush piled on the pressure ahead of an expected Security Council meeting on the issue this week.
While the 15-member council could impose sanctions, China reiterated its call for diplomacy and for Iran to work within the framework of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
"All concerned parties should step up diplomatic efforts," China's Qin said.
"China hopes Iran will fully cooperate with the IAEA and adopt more confidence-building measures to create conditions for resolving this issue through negotiations.
"At present, there's room for diplomatic negotiations to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue."
First Published: Mar 14, 2006 17:33 IST