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EU, China Discuss How, Not If, To Sanction Iran

EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Catherine Ashton
The European Union's foreign affairs chief says European officials and Chinese leaders are now discussing not if, but how, to pursue fresh UN sanctions against Iran.

Catherine Ashton said she told Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao that sanctions were needed to keep pressure on Iran over its nuclear activities and that she felt that China had accepted that position.

"Premier Wen was clearly in process of saying we should have [sanctions], but...he wants them to be targeted," she told reporters.

Ashton said she believed a two-track approach of dialogue plus sanctions was needed to keep up pressure on Tehran.

China has been discussing possible sanctions and has defended Iran's right to peaceful nuclear energy. It says any sanctions should not target the energy sector.

compiled from agency reports