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. China urges Iran to be constructive on nuclear standoff
BEIJING, Aug 23 (AFP) Aug 23, 2006
China said Wednesday it was carefully studying Iran's response to an international offer over its nuclear program and urged the Islamic republic to be constructive in its dealings on the issue.

Iran delivered a response Tuesday to the deal aimed at ending a long-running standoff over its nuclear program and, while it did not disclose the details of its reply, said it was ready for talks.

"China is carefully studying the reply," the foreign ministry said in a statement to AFP.

"China hopes Iran will earnestly consider the concerns of the international community and adopt the necessary constructive measures."

China hoped "the other parties will maintain calm and patience and exercise flexibility while persisting in the direction towards a peaceful solution, so as to create conditions for a speedy resumption of talks," it said.

"It is China's consistent belief that the peaceful solution to the Iran nuclear issue through diplomatic negotiations is the optimal choice, and is also in accordance with the interests of all parties."

The United States has said the United Nations must act swiftly if Iran refuses to stop sensitive nuclear activities by an August 31 Security Council deadline, warning there must be "consequences" for ignoring UN demands.

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