China ready for UN talks on Iran
China is ready for "serious" talks at the United Nations on Iran's nuclear program, the United States said Wednesday, as it sought support for sanctions against Tehran.
"China has agreed to sit down and begin serious negotiations here in New York," the US ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, said on CNN television.
Rice said the talks would take place between the six big powers coordinating a response to Iran's controversial push for what it says is a civilian nuclear capacity, but which Washington says could mask a military program.
Rice said that Washington was pushing for "tough" sanctions against Iran in the UN Security Council, where China has veto power on any resolution. Beijing has so far consistently opposed sanctions.
"This is progress, but the negotiations have yet to begin in earnest," Rice said.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was also upbeat, saying the P5+1 group -- permanent council members Britain, China, France, Russia, United States, plus Germany -- "continues to be unified."
"There will be a great deal of further consultation, not only among the P5+1, but with other members of the Security Council and other nations during next weeks," Clinton said.