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22 December 2011 - 22:18

China has called on the Western countries to commit themselves to dialogue as the sole path to resolving a standoff over Iran's nuclear issue.

“It is of greater and more realistic significance for all parties to seek for a proper settlement of the Iran's nuclear issue through dialogue and negotiations, maintain peace and stability of the Middle East and avoid further turbulence in the region,” said Wang Min, China's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations at a Wednesday meeting of the UN Security Council (UNSC).

At the UNSC's1737 committee, which is tasked with monitoring a set of sanctions against Iran, Wang pointed to the latest report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Iran's nuclear program, and urged all involved parties to seek a proper settlement to the issue.

The IAEA Board of Governors adopted a controversial US-engineered resolution against Iran's nuclear program on November 18, which was strongly refuted by the member nations of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).

"China believes that as long as all parties have strategic vision, actively adopt measures in a flexible and programmatic manner, mobilize positive factors can progress be made in dialogue and negotiations," the Chinese top diplomat noted.

China has repeatedly expressed opposition to the West's unilateral sanctions against Iran, warning that embargos would merely exacerbate the situation.

The US, Israel and their allies accuse Iran of pursuing a military nuclear program and have used this allegation as a pretext to convince the UN Security Council to impose four rounds of sanctions on Iran.

On December 15, the US Senate endorsed tougher sanctions against Iran to punish foreign financial institutions doing business with the country's Central Bank.

Earlier in the month, the foreign ministers of the European Union (EU) imposed new sanctions against 180 Iranian individuals and companies after failing to impose an embargo on the country's oil sector.

The United States, Britain and Canada imposed unilateral sanctions on Iran's energy and financial sectors on November 21, after the IAEA released its report on Tehran's nuclear program, which claimed Iran's nuclear program had a military aspect.

Tehran argues that as a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the IAEA, it has the right to develop and acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

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