China confirms Iran's nuclear invite

AP, Tuesday 4 Jan 2011

China confirms receiving an invite from Iran to tour the country's nuclear facilities.

China has confirmed it has received an invitation to tour Iran's nuclear sites but did not immediately say if it would send anyone.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a news conference Tuesday that Beijing has received an invitation and was in communication with Iran.

The tour could happen the weekend of Jan. 15, according to a letter made available Monday to The Associated Press. In it, senior Iranian envoy Ali Asghar Soltanieh suggested that meetings "with high-ranking officials" are envisaged.

The invitation, also made to Russia, the European Union and Iran's allies among the Arab and developing world, comes ahead of a new round of talks.

Hong said China hopes the dispute over Iran's nuclear program would be resolved through dialogue.

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