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China Promises Constructive Role on Iran

China says it will play a "constructive role" in efforts to resolve Iran's nuclear standoff with the West.

Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing made the remark in a joint news conference with visiting U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in Beijing Friday.

Li said China is ready to continue its constructive role in the process of peacefully resolving the Iranian nuclear issue.

Rice said the two sides discussed efforts at the U.N. Security Council to draft a resolution that is likely to impose sanctions on Iran for refusing to stop its uranium enrichment activity.

China and Russia have been resisting tougher measures against Iran, while urging negotiations to end the standoff.

European Union foreign ministers have expressed support for limited sanctions against Iran.

In another development, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told reporters Thursday during a flight from Moscow that Iran would have "a price to pay" if it does not back down from its nuclear ambitions. He did not elaborate.

Hours earlier, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad again said that his government will never give up its right to develop nuclear technology.

Iran has ignored an August 31 U.N. deadline to suspend uranium enrichment. Iran denies Western charges that it seeks to develop nuclear weapons.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.