China's rising economic and political power will benefit, not threaten its neighbors, Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing said Tuesday, calling for better ties with Washington and urging Iran to settle the dispute over its nuclear program. "Iran should cooperate closely with the IAEA to settle the nuclear dispute," Li said. "There is still room for settlement of the issue in the IAEA," Li said. "China's development does not pose any threat to any countries," Li said during a nationally televised news conference held during the annual session of China's parliament. "On the contrary China's development has provided more and more opportunities to the development of other countries in the world." Reading from briefing papers for most of the time, Li restated China's positions on a wide number of diplomatic issues, from the Middle East to North Korea. In every case, the message was clear: China is a friendly country eager to work with the rest of the world to resolve issues posing a risk to peace and stability, such as the controversies over nuclear programs in Iran and North Korea.