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. Wrong time for Iran sanctions: China
UNITED NATIONS, July 3 (AFP) Jul 04, 2007
China's UN envoy urged the international community Tuesday to boost diplomatic efforts to end the nuclear standoff with Iran, saying the time was not yet right for new sanctions.

"I believe we have to put more emphasis on the diplomatic track," ambassador Wang Guangya said at a news conference.

Wang noted that Iranian officials were holding talks with the European Union and the United Nations' nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

"I'm not sure if it's the right moment for the Security Council (to act), especially if the council is thinking of taking tougher measures in the sanctions area," he said.

China is one of the five permanent, veto-wielding members of the 15-nation UN Security Council alongside Russia, Britain, France and the United States.

The Security Council already has imposed two sets of sanctions against Iran for its refusal to suspend uranium enrichment, a process that can be used to make nuclear fuel as well as atom bombs.

The United States and its European allies plan to propose a third sanctions resolution, but no text has been circulated in the council so far.

Tehran insists that its nuclear program is peaceful and aimed solely at meeting its energy needs, while Western nations accuse the Islamic republic of seeking to build a nuclear bomb.

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