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US presses China on Iran sanctions
Talks coincide with visit to Beijing by Iran's top nuclear negotiator.
Last Modified: 17 Jan 2008 09:55 GMT
Negroponte said the US will keep pushing China
to back new sanctions against Iran [AFP]

The US deputy secretary of state is pressing China to back new sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program at semi-annual talks underway in the south-western Chinese province of Guizhou this week.

The visit by John Negroponte coincides with the arrival on Thursday of Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, in Beijing for meetings with Chinese leaders.

 

The Iranian embassy in Beijing has given few details of the envoy's visit, saying only that Jalili would brief reporters on Friday.

Speaking before two days of talks with Chinese officials, Negroponte said Iran had violated an existing UN resolution by going ahead with uranium enrichment and missile development.

 

He added that a recent US intelligence estimate showed only that Iran had suspended research into designs for a nuclear warhead.

 

"We think it is important that there be an additional Security Council resolution because Iran is out of compliance with previously passed resolutions," he told reporters.

 

"That is the argument that will be presented to the Chinese authorities."

 

Iran maintains that its nuclear programme is peaceful and aimed at providing energy for its growing population.

 

China, which has growing energy ties with Tehran, has called for negotiations on the issue and continues to oppose further aggressive UN action against Iran.

 

Negroponte said the US will seek further Chinese support at a meeting with other permanent members of the UN Security Council in Berlin next week.

 

Condoleezza Rice, the US secretary of state, is expected to discuss proposed new sanctions against Iran and other elements of a resolution with counterparts from Britain, France, Russia and China.

Source:
Agencies
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