Xi says China is keen to help get Iran nuclear talks back on track

PUBLISHED : Friday, 13 September, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 13 September, 2013, 3:53am

China was willing to help get Iranian nuclear talks back on track, President Xi Jinping said yesterday in a meeting with his new Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani on the sidelines of Shanghai Co-operation Organisation summit in Bishkek, Kyr gyzstan.

Iran's legitimate rights should be respected, Xi said, adding that the issue must be resolved through dialogue.

"The nuclear issue is a vital one concerning Iran's interests and regional peace and stability," Xinhua quoted Xi as saying, calling relevant parties to seek a solution acceptable to all sides.

Rouhani said Iran was willing to accept monitoring and supervision by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Iran is at odds in particular with Western powers, which fear that its nuclear programme is covertly directed at giving it the means to build nuclear bombs. Tehran denies this and rejects any limits on its enrichment of uranium or a more intrusive IAEA inspection regime, as several UN resolutions have called for.

The IAEA has held 10 rounds of talks with Iran since last year to resume a blocked inquiry into suspected atom bomb research.

The talks have so far produced no results but a meeting is set for September 27 in Vienna and is seen by Western states as a litmus test of any substantive Iranian shift away from the intransigence under Rouhani's hardline conservative predecessor.

In Vienna, Tehran's new envoy, Ambassador Reza Najafi, said at his first board meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency that Iran would co-operate with the UN nuclear agency to find ways to "overcome existing issues once and for all", hinting at a more flexible approach under relatively moderate Rouhani.