Bill Varner
Bloomberg
March 4, 2010

China and Russia said negotiations with Iran remain the best way to resolve the dispute over the purpose of its nuclear program, after a French envoy said the time has come to adopt tougher United Nations sanctions.

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“There is still room for further diplomatic maneuvers,” Chinese Deputy Ambassador Liu Zhenmin told a Security Council meeting on Iran’s compliance with the previous three sets of sanctions. “The door to contact and dialogue has not closed.”

Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, whose government has said it is open to supporting new penalties, said there is “still a horizon” for negotiations aimed at an agreement to defuse tensions by enriching uranium for a research reactor outside Iran.

“Time is up,” French envoy Nicolas de Riviere said. “We cannot let ourselves be put off. We have no other choice than to seek the adoption in coming weeks of new Security Council measures.”

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