Iran's Ahmadinejad to visit China
iranfocus from AFP / Jay Deshmukh

TEHRAN (AFP)— President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is heading to China this week to discuss the threat of new UN sanctions over Iran's nuclear programme, as US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said world powers have the necessary votes at the Security Council.

Ahmadinejad will be attending Expo Shanghai 2010, but will also meet top Chinese officials to discuss Iran's nuclear programme, the threat of sanctions and a fuel swap deal for a Tehran research reactor brokered by Brazil and Turkey last month, Iranian state television reported on Monday.

His visit to Security Council veto-wielding permanent member China takes on particular significance as a vote on a new sanctions package looms after the United States introduced a draft resolution last month.

China, which has emerged in recent years as Iran's main trading partner, continues to insist on diplomacy to resolve the standoff over Tehran's nuclear programme but US officials say they have Beijing's support for the sanctions resolution.

Before heading to China, Ahmadinejad was due to hold a round of meetings in Istanbul where he was attending a regional security and confidence building conference on Monday.

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