China urges Iran to resume talks on its nuclear program

Teheran's chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani to meet with Chinese President Hu Jintao on Friday.

hu jintao 88 (photo credit: )
hu jintao 88
(photo credit: )
China has pressed Iran to return to nuclear negotiations, state media reported Friday, following Teheran's defiance over sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council for its nuclear program. "Under the current circumstances, it has become more necessary and pressing to resume the negotiations," Chinese State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan told Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, on Thursday, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. Larijani was to meet with Chinese President Hu Jintao on Friday, Xinhua said. While China has strong trade ties with oil-rich Iran, it is a permanent member of the UN Security Council, which voted unanimously to bar all countries from selling materials and technology to Iran that could contribute to its nuclear and missile programs. It also froze the assets of 10 Iranian companies and 12 individuals related to those programs. Earlier this week, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad dismissed the sanctions as invalid and said Tehran had humiliated the United States in the past and would do so again. Washington has led the drive to stop Iran from enriching uranium - a process that produces the material for either nuclear reactors or bombs. Iran denies that it seeks to build atomic weapons, saying its nuclear program is limited to the generation of electricity. Tang said China hopes all sides will "show flexibility and create conditions for resuming the negotiations at an early date to seek a comprehensive and peaceful solution to the Iranian nuclear issue," Xinhua said. Larijani's two-day trip to Beijing began Thursday.