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China Hopes Iran to Continue Cooperation with IAEA

China hopes that Iran would continue to cooperate with the UN nuclear watchdog in efforts to resolve its nuclear issue, a Chinese official said in Vienna Thursday.


At a meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) 35-nation board of governors, Wu Hailong, China's delegate to the agency, said that while Iran has already taken cooperation measures since September, there were sill remaining problems that should be clarified.


Wu said Iran's nuclear issue, if handled inappropriately, could get out of the framework of the IAEA and worse still, the situation could also get out of control.


That would not be in the interest of any country, nor of maintaining the efficiency of the international non-proliferation system and the authority of the agency, Wu said.


That would also do no good for regional peace and stability, he added.


He urged the international community to adopt constructive approaches and actions to help resolve the issue peacefully.


On the resumption of the nuclear talks between Iran and the EU, Wu said China always maintains that Iran' nuclear issue should be resolved properly within the framework of the IAEA and supports the two sides in their efforts to seek a long-term solution through dialogue and negotiations.


China welcomes all positive proposals, suggestions and efforts that are conducive to the resumption of the EU-Iran talks and find a long-term solution to the issue, he said.


Wu said China hoped Tehran would implement relevant resolutions of the nuclear watchdog's board of governors in earnest and gain more understanding from the international community, thus creating conditions for resuming the nuclear talks.


In the meantime, other parties should also address Iran's legitimate concerns in a fair and objective way, he said, adding that China is ready to play a constructive role in resolving the nuclear issue.


The IAEA's governing board began a two-day meeting Thursday to discuss the developments of Iran's nuclear issue since it called on Tehran in September to cease its uranium enrichment.


The meeting is expected to endorse a statement by the EU that postpones referring Tehran's nuclear issue to the UN Security Council for possible sanctions, and calls for a resumption of talks with Iran.


The decision was aimed at giving Russia more time to persuade Tehran to accept a compromise plan, which would require Iran to transfer its uranium enrichment activities to Russia.


The US and the EU fear that Iran could use a civilian nuclear power program to produce weapons-grade nuclear fuels, which Tehran has denied.


Iran resumed uranium enrichment on August 8, which resulted in the collapse of its talks with the EU's big three -- France, Britain and Germany.


(Xinhua News Agency November 25, 2005)

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