Iran said on Thursday the talk of sanctions by world powers against the Islamic republic over its nuclear program is just an empty threat that has been ineffective against Tehran for the past 30 years.
"The nuclear program of the Islamic republic is fully peaceful and the talk of sanctions is a threat that has been ineffective over the past 30 years," foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said.
World powers have stepped up pressure to impose a new round of UN sanctions on Iran for doggedly pursuing its controversial nuclear program which they suspect masks a weapons drive.
Teheran has steadfastly denied these accusations and continued with its atomic work despite three sets of existing sanctions, saying Iran as a member of the Non-Proliferation Treaty it has the right to nuclear technology.
"We recommend that all countries accept the legal rights (of Iran) under the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), instead of using wrongful methods such as sanctions and pressure," Mr Mehmanparast said, according to Mehr news agency.
Saeed Jalili with Qin Gang in Beijing (Photo: AP)
Efforts to impose fresh sanctions on Tehran have been stepped up, with US President Barack Obama saying on Tuesday that the new measures could be levied within weeks. However, China, a key veto-wielding power at the UN Security Council, is still insisting on a peaceful solution to the crisis.
China said on Thursday it was working for a "peaceful resolution" of the Iranian nuclear standoff, as Tehran sent its top negotiator, Saeed Jalili, to Beijing for talks on the disputed atomic drive.
"On the Iranian nuclear issue, China will continue to work toward a peaceful resolution," Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang told reporters. "We have always and will continue to push for a peaceful settlement of this issue."