Iran has not shut the door on a U.N.-brokered offer to send uranium abroad for enrichment, and diplomacy remains the best way to resolve this issue, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said on Friday.
"We believe Iran has not totally shut the door on the IAEA proposal on nuclear fuel supply," he told a security conference in Germany.
"We believe this issue should best be solved through diplomatic means so as to maintain peace and stability in the Gulf region."
Iran says it is only for electricity generation, but the West claims that Iran wants nuclear weapons capability from enrichment.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Tuesday his country was ready to send low-enriched uranium (LEU) abroad to be converted into fuel for a Tehran nuclear medicine reactor to show its nuclear aims were purely peaceful.
Beijing said on Thursday this signalled a shift in Iran's position which meant it was worth continuing negotiations rather than discussing broader sanctions against Tehran.
Reinforcing Beijing's position, the minister said China wanted another meeting of the five permanent member countries of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, the so-called P5+1, a group which has been trying to resolve the Iran dispute, to discuss the question again.
"We believe it is very important to have another P5+1 dialogue," he said, adding he hoped that through dialogue a mutually-acceptable solution could emerge.
"There are chances for us to explore," he added.
Western powers are seeking to have the U.N. Security Council approve a fourth batch of sanctions against Iran by the end of March over uranium enrichment, which can have peaceful or military purposes.
Russia, like China, has extensive trade ties with Iran and both acted to weaken previous rounds of Security Council sanctions. But a Russian lawmaker said on Thursday that Moscow and Western powers had moved closer to agreement on the need for farther-reaching punitive measures.
ReutersLast Mod: 06 Şubat 2010, 10:43