China supports Iran for nuclear energy development

Iran's foreign minister said Friday that he won Beijing's support for his nation's efforts to develop nuclear energy, amid U.S. accusations that the program is aimed at building a bomb. "We talked with China about the peaceful utilization of nuclear power," said Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki following meetings with his Chinese counterpart and other officials.

"China agrees with our stance," Mottaki said, according to a Chinese-language translation of his remarks made in Farsi.

The United States accuses Iran of trying to build nuclear weapons, an accusation that Iran denies, the AP reminds.

The International Atomic Energy Agency passed a resolution last month warning Iran it would be referred to the U.N. Security Council for possible sanctions unless it allayed fears about its nuclear program.

China abstained from the IAEA vote. It is a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council with power to veto U.N. actions.

Mottaki's Chinese counterpart, Li Zhaoxing, told him on Thursday that the nuclear issue should be resolved through diplomatic means within the IAEA, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

China also hopes Iran's negotiations with the European Union to resolve the nuclear dispute can resume soon, Xinhua said.

On Friday, Mottaki cast doubt on Britain's claims that Iran was involved in attacks on British troops in Iraq.

"Their purpose is to allow foreign troops to be stationed in Iraq for a longer period of time," he said.

On photo: Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki.


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