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China urges respect in Iranian nuclear row

  |   Sept. 12, 2013 at 11:04 AM
BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan, Sept. 12 (UPI) -- Efforts to resolve disputes over Iran's controversial nuclear program should be conducted with its legitimate rights in mind, China's president said Thursday.

Chinese President Xi Jinping met Thursday in Kyrgyzstan with his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani. Xi said the Chinese government is willing to make constructive efforts to accelerate multilateral talks on Iran's nuclear program, China's official Xinhua News Agency reported.

The International Atomic Energy Agency said this week it was unable to verify if all of Iran's nuclear activity was peaceful. U.N. nuclear inspectors have raised questions about potential nuclear work at the Parchin military complex outside of Tehran.

Iran says its nuclear program is peaceful. Xi said Iran's legitimate rights as a party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty should be respected.

Kyrgyzstan is hosting a regular meeting for members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Rouhani said from the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek, Iran was willing to work with the IAEA to allay their concerns.

Rouhani pledged to lead as a moderate when he took office last month. Two rounds of negotiations this year between Iran, the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany were described as amicable, though no breakthroughs were made.

Rouhani served formerly as a chief nuclear negotiator for Iran.

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