China defends nuclear cooperation with Iran

China on Tuesday defended its nuclear cooperation with Iran following a British Broadcasting Corp. report that traced Tehran's newly announced ability to enrich uranium to Chinese assistance. Beijing abided by the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty in collaborating with Iran on "peacefully using nuclear technology" and reported their dealings to the International Atomic Energy Agency, said Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao. "Since 1992 China has been a party to the NPT and we have been honoring our commitments," Liu said at a news briefing. "We have reported our cooperation with Iran to the IAEA." The BBC report last week quoted Western diplomats as saying Iran may have used a small amount of material sold by China in 1991 for the uranium enrichment process. The diplomats said that indicated the program may not be as advanced as it appears.