China urges Iran to halt uranium enrichment

China on Tuesday urged Iran to halt its uranium enrichment activities and solve the international dispute over the matter through diplomacy.

"We hope Iran can restore its moratorium on all activities related to uranium enrichment and create the conditions for the solution of the nuclear issue through negotiations," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said at a regular news briefing.

Enrichment is a process that can produce either fuel for a nuclear reactor or material for a warhead.

Liu also said that Beijing hoped discussions between Iran and Russia on the issue would yield results. However, shortly after Liu made his comments, Russian media reported that the talks between Russia and Iran that began Monday in Moscow had broken up.

Iranian and Russian officials had been discussing a proposal to allow Iran's uranium to be enriched on Russian soil in an effort to assure the international community that the material is not diverted for weapons use.

Russia's proposal is widely seen as Tehran's last chance to avoid sanctions over suspicions it has a covert nuclear weapons program, reports the AP.

I.L.

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