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China Hopes Iran Nuclear Issue Solved with Diplomatic Means
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China hopes that the Iran nuclear issue would be settled through diplomatic means, Chinese Defense Minister Cao Gangchuan said in Beijing Wednesday.


"Under the current situation, there is still room to seek an appropriate settlement to the Iran nuclear issue through diplomatic negotiation. More efforts are needed to maintain such an important international consensus," Cao told reporters after a meeting of defense ministers from members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.


Cao said Iran, as a member of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, enjoys the right to peaceful use of nuclear power, and should also perform relevant obligations and commitment.


He said China hopes Iran would respond positively to relevant resolutions of the International Atomic Energy Agency and the presidential statement adopted by the UN Security Council recently.


The 15-member UN Security Council on March 28 approved a non-binding presidential statement, asking Iran to suspend uranium enrichment activities within 30 days.


Mohamed ElBaradei, chief of the IAEA, is expected to submit a report to the Security Council in upcoming days.


With the deadline looming, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad vowed to press ahead with the nuclear program.


He also warned that Tehran would "reconsider" its cooperation with the IAEA, hinting that a possible withdrawal from the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, if western countries continued to prevent Iran from obtaining peaceful nuclear technologies.


(Xinhua News Agency April 27, 2006)

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