Reuters: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad met with Chinese President Hu Jintao in Beijing on Saturday, amid tensions over Tehran's nuclear work, which Western powers say is aimed at developing atomic weapons.
BEIJING (Reuters) – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad met with Chinese President Hu Jintao in Beijing on Saturday, amid tensions over Tehran's nuclear work, which Western powers say is aimed at developing atomic weapons.
Ahmadinejad arrived in the Chinese capital for a one-day visit to attend the opening ceremony of the Beijing Paralympics and meet with Iranian athletes.
"We have had very good talks in the past. China and Iran already enjoy good cooperation in various fields, like exchange of people and communication," Ahmadinejad told Hu ahead of a closed-door meeting at Beijing's Great Hall of the People.
Hu thanked Ahmadinejad for Iran's aid and support in the aftermath of the May 12 earthquake, which killed more than 80,000 people in southwest China.
China, a permanent vote-wielding member of the U.N Security Council, is among six world powers pressuring Iran to halt uranium enrichment, a process that can produce fuel for power plants, or potentially, nuclear weapons.
Western powers believe Tehran is aiming to develop nuclear weapons under the guise of a civilian nuclear program, but Iran insists it only wants to master atomic technology in order to generate electricity.
Iran faces a fourth round of sanctions after failing to respond to a sweetened offer of incentives by France, Britain, Germany, the United States, Russia and China to halt its uranium enrichment.
China, a big customer for Iranian oil, is seen as key to breaking the diplomatic impasse, but has been reluctant to consider steps that might hurt its energy and economic ties with Tehran.
(Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Bill Tarrant)