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China Urges Iran To Return To Talks

Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Wu Hailong
China has urged Iran to resume talks on its nuclear ambitions.

Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Wu Hailong said Beijing wants the issue resolved peacefully through talks and not through sanctions and "military means."

He was speaking to a visiting Iranian delegation led by Supreme National Security Council deputy secretary Ali Baqeri.

Hailong's comments on January 21 echo those made a day earlier by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who warned Iran is heading down a "dangerous path" with the pursuit of its nuclear program.

Clinton said the international community wants Tehran to show more "sincerity" about its recent statements indicating a willingness to return to the negotiating table.

Her comments came as U.S. lawmakers moved to give details of sanctions for foreign banks that do business with the Iran's central bank, the clearinghouse for its oil exports.

EU foreign ministers are also due to meet on January 23 to discuss possible new sanctions against Iran.

compiled from agency reports