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19 January 2012 - 12:06

China says it “completely rejects” accusations that Iran is seeking nuclear weapons, expressing support to P5+1 talks for a negotiated solution to the Iran-West standoff.

Speaking at a press conference in Doha on Wednesday, visiting Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao said China's trade relations with Iran are normal and justified and should be protected.

Last week, Beijing dismissed US efforts to tighten the noose of sanctions around Iran's economy, saying it “opposes imposing pressure and sanctions.”

Wen said his country instead backed talks between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council -- Russia, China, Britain, France and the US -- plus Germany (P5+1).

“Talks between Iran and the P5+1 -- Britain, China, France, Russia, and the United States plus Germany -- will most probably be held in Istanbul,” Wen said on Wednesday.

Moreover, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi, upon arrival in the Turkish capital, Ankara, said that Tehran-P+1 talks will “most probably” be held in Turkey.

Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu is in contact with Iran's top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili and EU foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, and the date of negotiations will be announced in the near future, he added.

Iran and the P5+1 have held two rounds of multifaceted talks in Geneva in December 2010 and in the Turkish city of Istanbul last January.

Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov denounced US-led Western efforts to impose “suffocating” sanctions on Iran's economy.

“Additional unilateral sanctions against Iran have nothing to do with a desire to ensure the government's commitment to nuclear non-proliferation," he said, noting that such bids are aimed at inciting popular discontent in the Islamic Republic.

The United States, Israel and some of their allies accuse Tehran of pursuing military objectives in its nuclear program and have used this pretext to impose four rounds of sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

Iran has refuted the allegations, arguing that as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Tehran has a right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
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News ID 181398