China supports nuclear deal
Straits Times

BEIJING - CHINA said on Tuesday it supported Iran's agreement to ship low enriched uranium to Turkey, adding that it hoped the deal would lead to a peaceful resolution of the Iranian nuclear impasse.

'We attach importance to and support this agreement,' foreign ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said. 'We hope this will help promote the peaceful settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue.'

Iran on Monday signed an agreement with Turkey and Brazil to ship 1,200 kilogrammes (2,640 pounds) of its low enriched uranium to Turkey in return for higher grade fuel for a Teheran research reactor.

The agreement had so far been met with scepticism by other world powers, with the United States saying it would not halt its quest for tough new sanctions on Teheran.

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said the deal failed to address the core issue of 'nuclear weapon intention,' while French foreign ministry spokesman Bernard Valero said the world should 'not be duped by this.' Iran, which is already under three sets of UN sanctions over its refusal to halt uranium enrichment, vowed to press on with the controversial work even after Monday's agreement.

Mr Ma said China still 'adheres to the two-track strategy' of keeping pressure on Iran while seeking a negotiated settlement to the nuclear issue. -- AFP

recommended by Q