China pushes Iran to return to talks

BEIJING, June 14 (Reuters) – China’s President Hu Jintao told his Iranian counterpart on Tuesday that six-nation talks were the best way to guarantee Iran’s right of peaceful use of nuclear energy on the eve of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization meeting in Kazakhstan.

Hu told President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, both in the central Asian country’s capital Astana ahead of the summit, that Iran should “take substantial steps” to establish trust and “promote the process of dialogue,” state news agency Xinhua said.

“This is not only in the interest of the Iranian side, but also conducive to the general situation of peace and stability in the Middle East region,” Hu said.

Last week China joined Western powers in telling Iran its “consistent failure” to comply with United Nations resolutions “deepened concerns” about possible military dimensions to its nuclear programme.

The United States, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Russia and China issued the statement a day after Iran said it would triple production of high-grade uranium and shift it to an underground bunker which would be protected from possible U.S. or Israeli air strikes.

During his talk with Hu, Ahmadinejad said his country was willing to return to dialogue with the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany.

But Ahmadinejad last week said no inducement could persuade Iran to give up enrichment, despite trade incentives offered to Tehran by world powers… >>>

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