China lauded an action plan reached by Iran and the United Nations nuclear inspectors on Friday, saying it hoped related parties could avoid confrontations in dealing with the Iranian nuclear issue.
Chinese State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan (R) greets Iranian Interior Minister Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi during their meeting in Beijing, September 14, 2007. [Xinhua]
"China supports the cooperation that Iran is developing with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)," State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan said when meeting with visiting Iranian Interior Minister Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi in Beijing.
Meanwhile, Tang said China hoped concerned parties would take a "pragmatic and flexible attitude" to respond to the concerns of the international community, alleviate the tense situation and avoid escalation of confrontations.
"China opposes the proliferation of nuclear weapons and advocates a peaceful resolution of the Iranian nuclear issue through negotiations," Tang said.
Pour-Mohammadi, who arrived in Beijing Thursday for a two-day visit as special envoy of the Iranian government, briefed the Chinese side about the action plan reached with the IAEA.
He appreciated the positive role China has played in promoting the peaceful resolution of the Iranian nuclear issue, saying Iran is willing to continue its cooperation with the IAEA and resolve the issue through negotiations.
"We will peacefully conduct nuclear activities legally abiding by a series of international laws and regulations," Pour-Mohammadi said.
Before meeting with Tang, Pour-Mohammadi held talks with Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi focused on the bilateral cooperation and the Iranian nuclear issue.
The Iranian envoy's China trip followed a meeting of the IAEA governing board in Vienna to discuss a working plan agreed last month between Iran and the UN nuclear watchdog that demands Iran answer outstanding questions about its nuclear program.
The United States and other Western countries have accused Iran of trying to develop atomic weapons under a civilian cover, but Iran denies the accusation, saying it just wants to generate electricity. A couple of UN Security Council resolutions have been passed to punish Iran for its defiance on its nuclear issue.
The US State Department said on Wednesday that it was working with other members of the UN Security Council as well as Germany to pass a new resolution on Iran with more sanctions.
In response, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad warned on Wednesday that while Iran wished to continue cooperating with the IAEA, "others should not intervene".
The same day, the Islamic Republic's top nuclear negotiator said that any new UN sanctions against Iran would end their cooperation with the organization's nuclear watchdog.
Tang Guoqiang, China's permanent representative to the United Nations and other international organizations in Vienna said on Wednesday that negotiations are the best way to resolve the dispute over Iran's nuclear program and China supports efforts to continue the contact between Iran and the European Union (EU).
Addressing a meeting of the IAEA governing board, Tang said the current situation regarding the nuclear issue was delicate and could worsen if not handled properly. Negotiations aimed at resolving the issue peacefully are the best choice and meet the interests of all parties concerned, he said.