China urges restraint in Iran negotiations

China is pushing for a negotiated settlement in the Iranian nuclear crisis, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said Thursday, as the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany met in Russia to discuss possible sanctions. "We hope relevant parties will exercise restraint and show flexibility to properly handle the Iranian nuclear issue, to create conditions for the solution of the issue through negotiations," spokesman Qin Gang said at a regular briefing. Qin said Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai, China's top nonproliferation official, spoke with Russian officials this week and "both sides agreed to strengthen communication and cooperation on the Iranian issue to promote the proper solution ... through negotiations."