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. China says Iran nuclear issue should not go to UN Security Council
BEIJING (AFP) Nov 25, 2004
China Thursday made clear discussions on Iran's nuclear program should be resolved in the International Atomic Energy Agency and not be brought before the UN Security Council.

"China hopes the Iranian nuclear issue will be resolved within the IAEA system soon," said foreign ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue.

"China does not support bringing the Iranian nuclear issue to the United Nations Security Council."

The 35-nation UN atomic agency meets Thursday in Vienna to decide whether to bring Iran before the Security Council for possible sanctions, sought by the United States for what it says is a covert nuclear weapons program.

As a permanent member of the Security Council with veto power and a member of the IAEA, China is set to play a decisive role in the resolution of the dispute.

Chinese vice foreign minister Zhang Yesui had discussions with Seyev Hossein Mousavian, the chief Iranian negotiator with the IAEA, over the issue during his two-day visit to Beijing earlier this week.

Iran Wednesday asked the IAEA to exempt several dozen centrifuges from its earlier pledge to freeze its nuclear fuel cycle.

It agreed a week ago with Britain, France and Germany to suspend as of Monday all its uranium enrichment-related activities, including making uranium gas and building centrifuges, in order to avoid the UN sanctions threat.

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