Beijing urges talks on Iran nuclear issue
By Qin Jize (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-01-18 06:16
Beijing yesterday reiterated the need for diplomacy to solve Iran's nuclear
issue while urging all parties to remain restrained and return to negotiations.
Talks between Iran and the three European countries called the EU3 Britain,
France and Germany are the most feasible approach and are "in the interest of
everyone," Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan told a regular news briefing.
He hoped that all parties are patient and try their best to restart
"We hope the Iranian side can co-operate with the efforts by the
international community to restart diplomatic negotiations, and resolve the
nuclear issue," said Kong.
The three EU countries ended more than two years of talks with Iran last week
after Teheran removed UN seals on equipment for enriching uranium in a research
programme that could further its quest for nuclear energy or for weapons.
Teheran insists that the nuclear technology is for a civilian energy
programme but the United States and the European Union doubt Iran's atomic
ambitions are entirely peaceful and are seeking to refer the matter to the UN
Security Council, which can impose economic sanctions.
China's ambassador to the United Nations Wang Guangya said in New York this
week that referring Iran's nuclear issue to the Security Council would only
complicate the issue.
Kong pledged that China would make its own efforts to promote talks on the
Beijing has been in close contact with Teheran, and Iranian Vice-Foreign
Minister Safari visited China last week.
Representatives of China, the three EU countries, the United States and
Russia also met in London on Monday for an informal discussion on the escalating
Kong said that all parties agreed that Iran should halt its nuclear research
programme and return to the negotiation table, and were committed to seeking a
Russia also said it does not favour imposing sanctions.
"The question of sanctions against Iran puts the cart before the horse.
Sanctions are in no way the best, or the only, way to solve the problem,"
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in Moscow yesterday.
Lavrov told a news briefing that Russia's offer to enrich uranium for Iran
remained on the table but Teheran has sent mixed signals on the proposal.
German Deputy Foreign Minister Gernot Erler confirmed that the London talks
had produced agreement on convening a meeting of the International Atomic Energy
Agency (IAEA) on February 2.
But he said the world powers that met in London on Monday were still divided
on the purpose and content of a planned IAEA resolution referring Iran to the
Britain said yesterday it still aimed for a diplomatic resolution to the
standoff. "Our ideal outcome is a diplomatic solution. This has to mean Iran
abides by its international obligations that is the test," Prime Minister Tony
Blair's spokesman told reporters.
A senior British official also said yesterday that referring Iran to the
Security Council would not automatically lead to economic sanctions.
Iran yesterday urged the EU trio in a letter to immediately return to the
negotiating table over its nuclear programme, an Iranian source in Vienna said.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, the source said Iran
had written to the EU3 and emphasized Iran's willingness to "remove existing
ambiguities regarding its peaceful nuclear programme through talks and