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Iran Rejects New Sanctions by EU

The reactor building of the Bushehr nuclear power plant is seen, just outside the southern city of Bushehr, Iran (File Photo)

Iran has rejected the European Union's plan to extend sanctions against Iranian entities over its disputed nuclear program.

Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said the EU is acting illogically by acting on sanctions while at the same time calling for Tehran to resume talks with major powers on nuclear issues.

Mehmanparast said Tuesday the additional EU sanctions show a "contradiction" between the actions and words of European and other Western nations.

The 27-nation EU bloc said Monday it was imposing travel bans and asset freezes on an additional 100 Iranian entities and several Iranian individuals, due to concerns about Iran's nuclear program. The United States welcomed the EU decision.

Western nations suspect Iran is developing nuclear weapons under cover of a civilian energy program, a charge Tehran denies.

U.S. and EU authorities have imposed a series of unilateral sanctions in recent years on Iranian companies and individuals suspected of involvement in the proliferation of weapons and military technology.

Iran last engaged in nuclear talks with Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States in January, but the dialogue ended with no sign of progress.

Separately, China says it will study an Iranian offer for Chinese experts to inspect Iranian nuclear facilities. Iran's foreign minister Ali Akbar Salehi made the offer to his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi in Beijing on Monday.

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman says Beijing hopes Iran and the six world powers will resume talks as soon as possible. She also said Tuesday that China encourages Iran to improve cooperation with the U.N. nuclear agency.

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

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