Chinese President Hu Jintao expressed the hope in Beijing Friday that Iran will make a "serious response" to Resolution 1737 adopted by the UN Security Council last December.
"The UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 1737, which reflects the shared concerns of the international community over the Iranian nuclear issue, and we hope Iran will make a serious response to the resolution," Hu said in his meeting with Iran's visiting top nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani.
The resolution adopted on December 23, 2006, imposed sanctions against Iran for its failure to suspend its uranium enrichment program. The resolution demands that Iran "suspend all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, including research and development," and "work on all heavy water-related projects."
It also calls on all countries to impose a ban on trade with Iran in goods related to its nuclear programs and ballistic missile delivery systems.
Hu said China always holds a consistent position on the Iranian nuclear issue and supports the maintenance of the international non-proliferation system, and peace and stability in the Middle East region.
"China continues to believe the Iranian nuclear issue should be resolved through diplomatic negotiations", Hu stressed.
"The international community should continue the diplomatic efforts to promote the early resumption of negotiations to achieve a long-term, comprehensive and good settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue", Hu added.
Hu also spoke highly on the China-Iran relations, pledging that China will make joint efforts with Iran to further ties and improve bilateral cooperation to foster lasting peace and prosperity for the world.
Larijani said that Iran highly values its ties with China and is committed to expanding bilateral cooperation in the political, economic, trade, and culture fields.
At a press conference at the Iranian embassy in Beijing after the meeting with Hu, Larijani stressed that Iran's nuclear program was for civilian purposes.
"We do not go after nuclear weapons. It is not part of our strategic diplomatic doctrine, political or national doctrine, to go after nuclear weapons," Larijani told reporters.
He said his discussion with Hu "involved a wide range of issues", including regional, bilateral and political issues, noting Iran and China "have wide-range relationships at different levels".
Iran has said it needs to enrich uranium as a peaceful, alternative energy source and has the right to do so under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
Before meeting with Hu, Larijani, who is in China as a special envoy of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, held talks with Chinese State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan on the Iranian nuclear issue and bilateral relations on Thursday.
He told Tang that Iran will honor the principles of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and continue to seek a just and reasonable solution to the Iranian nuclear issue though talks.
(Xinhua News Agency January 6, 2007)