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Iran Negotiator To Hold Nuclear Talks With China

Iranian nuclear envoy Said Jalili

Iranian nuclear envoy Said Jalili

Iran's official media has said the country's chief nuclear negotiator will visit China on April 1 to "discuss the nuclear issue" with high-ranking Chinese officials.

Said Jalili's visit will come after the foreign ministers of the Group of Eight major industrial economies called for greater pressure on Iran to halt its uranium-enrichment program.

U.S. President Barack Obama added to the pressure by saying he hoped to impose new international nuclear sanctions on Iran within "weeks," but admitted Washington did "not yet" have global agreement to do so.

"My hope is that we are going to get this done this spring," Obama said. "So I'm not interested in waiting months for a sanctions regime to be in place -- I'm interested in seeing that regime in place in weeks."

Beijing has been seen as the most hesitant member of the 5+1 group -- the permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany -- which is negotiating with Tehran over its nuclear program.

Iran has consistently denied allegations that it's seeking to develop nuclear weapons under the cover of a civilian nuclear program.

compiled from agency reports