China to study US report on Iran, unchanged on need for talks

China's government is studying a US intelligence review that concludes Iran stopped developing nuclear weapons in 2003, and maintains that dialogue is the best route to solving the Iranian nuclear crisis, the Foreign Ministry said Thursday. The US National Intelligence Estimate report released Monday is a reversal of Washington's earlier claims that Teheran was actively seeking nuclear weapons and could undermine attempts by the administration of US President George W. Bush to win further UN sanctions against Iran. "We will earnestly study the report and make communications with relevant parties," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told reporters at a regular briefing. A top US diplomat said Monday, before the report was released, that Beijing may be open to discussing new sanctions against Iran.