Friday, February 10, 2012

China to send senior official to Iran for nuclear talks

(Reuters) - China's Foreign Ministry said on Friday it will send a senior official to Iran for talks on the country's nuclear program, which has spurred tensions between Tehran and the West and led to new European Union and U.S. sanctions.

Assistant Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu will head to Iran for talks on Sunday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said, reiterating Beijing's emphasis on diplomacy over sanctions to resolve the issue.

"We have consistently advocated dialogue and cooperation as the only proper channel for resolving the Iran nuclear issue," Liu told reporters at a regular news briefing.

"(Ma will) have a further exchange of views with Iran over its nuclear program," he added, without giving details.

Tensions rose last month when EU leaders agreed to embargo Iranian oil by July and to freeze the assets of Iran's central bank, joining the United States in a new round of measures aimed at discouraging Tehran's nuclear ambitions. Read More