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China Says Sanctions Won't Deter Iran's Nuclear Agenda

China is reiterating its stance that sanctions are not appropriate for deterring Iran from a nuclear weapons program.

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Jiang Yu, told reporters Thursday that sanctions and pressure are "not the way" to solve the issue.  

On Wednesday, Russian President Dmitri Medvedev told reporters at the United Nations General Assembly that new sanctions against Iran may be inevitable, although they are rarely productive.  He said in some cases, such penalties are unavoidable.

Meanwhile, Iran's president says his country is willing to have its nuclear experts meet with scientists from the United States and other world powers to try to resolve concerns about the nuclear program.

In an interview with The Washington Post newspaper, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also said Iran wants to buy enriched uranium used in medical applications from the United States. U.S. officials did not immediately comment on the proposal.

In Paris Thursday, an exiled Iranian opposition group said it has discovered two previously unknown sites in Iran where scientists are secretly researching technology used in nuclear warheads.

The allegation has not been verified. The National Council of Resistance of Iran is considered to be an umbrella organization for the Iranian People's Mujahedeen and has been designated a terrorist group by the U.S. State Department. European nations removed the group from their terrorist list earlier this year. The NCRI has uncovered covert activities with Iran's nuclear program in the past, although overall it has a mixed record in making allegations against the government in Tehran.

In Iran Thursday, the country's supreme leader accused Western nations of plotting against the Islamic republic.  Speaking on state television, Ayatollah Ali Khamanei did not mention the nuclear stand-off, but he said Tehran must prevent foreigners from sowing divisions among Iranians.

The United States, France, Germany, Britain, Russia and China meet with Iranian negotiators next week for talks on Tehran's nuclear ambitions. President Obama says Iran has been violating too many of its international obligations and that tougher sanctions may be needed.  But analysts say the outcome of the talks mainly depends on Russia and China's willingness to pressure Iran.  

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.


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