China calls on Iran to boost cooperation with IAEA

BEIJING — China on Tuesday called on Iran to improve its cooperation with the UN nuclear watchdog, after the agency said in a report that Tehran was pressing ahead with its controversial atomic programme.

"We hope Iran will further step up cooperation with the IAEA and resolve the pending issues at an early date," foreign ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu told reporters, adding China "appreciated" the efforts of the nuclear watchdog.

The International Atomic Energy Agency said in a restricted report obtained by AFP that it remained concerned about the true nature of the Islamic republic's nuclear activities, which Tehran insists are peaceful.

The report said Iran was producing higher-enriched uranium and noted indications of "past or current undisclosed nuclear-related activities" including some linked to the development of a nuclear payload for a missile.

China, a close ally of Iran with significant energy interests in the Islamic republic, on Tuesday also reiterated its usual call for further talks to resolve the standoff.

"We hope relevant parties can seize the opportunities, step up diplomatic efforts and seek an early resumption of dialogue and negotiations," Ma said.

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