June 4, 2015 / 11:46 PM / 2 years ago

China urges no new demands at Iran nuclear talks

The head of Iranian Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi (R) looks over papers before meetings at the Beau Rivage Palace Hotel March 28, 2015 in Lausanne. REUTERS/Brendan Smialowski/Pool

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s foreign minister has urged that all parties involved in talks on Iran’s nuclear program make no new demands and that the legitimate concerns of the participants be respected, the Chinese government said late on Thursday.

Iran, the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China reached a tentative framework for a nuclear pact on April 2 in Lausanne but several issues remain unresolved.

They have a self-imposed June 30 deadline to arrive at a comprehensive agreement.

Western powers fear Iran wants to build an atomic bomb and years of talks have focused on eradicating the alleged threat. Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who is in Russia, said the situation had become more complex now that the talks process was in its final stages but that everyone should be patient.

“(We) must push forward the next stage of talks on the basis of the Lausanne framework ... and all parties should not raise any new demands to prevent complicating the talks process,” the foreign ministry quoted Wang as telling his Russian and Iranian counterparts.

“All sides’ legitimate concerns ought to be paid attention to and rationally resolved; all sides should meet each other half way and not drift further apart,” Wang added.

A swift agreement would benefit the global non-proliferation system as well as regional peace and stability, and China would continue to play a constructive role, he said.

China and Iran have close diplomatic, economic, trade and energy ties, and China has repeatedly urged Iran to reach an agreement.

China’s crude oil imports from Iran jumped by nearly 30 percent last year to their highest average level since 2011, as Iran’s largest oil client boosted shipments after an interim deal eased sanctions on Tehran.

Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Mark Bendeich

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