BEIJING, Jan. 5 -- China told Iran's senior nuclear negotiator Friday that it should abandon its defiance of U.N. sanctions and work for a swift return to negotiations to solve the standoff over its nuclear program.
The Chinese admonition, conveyed by the official media, came in a meeting between Ali Larijani, secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, and President Hu Jintao, who urged a "serious response" to the U.N. sanctions. State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan, China's senior foreign policy troubleshooter, gave Larijani a similar message Thursday, the New China News Agency reported.
China's public advice to Iran marked another instance in which Beijing seemed to be following a parallel course with the United States on nuclear nonproliferation. Diplomats from the two countries have worked with increasing closeness over the last three years in Chinese-sponsored negotiations to dismantle North Korea's nuclear weapons program.
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