Chinese diplomat urges Iran to cooperate with UN nuke body

A senior Chinese diplomat on a trip to Iran has urged Tehran to cooperate more with the United Nations' nuclear watchdog body. The advice comes amid growing tensions over the Islamic republic's nuclear program and Western sanctions.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said Monday that Assistant Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu began a two-day visit to Iran on Sunday and urged Tehran to resume talks with the five permanent U.N. Security Council members plus Germany.

The West suspects Iran's nuclear program is aimed at producing atomic weapons. Tehran denies this charge, insisting it's geared for peaceful purposes only.

Last week the U.S. cranked up its sanctions on Iran to try to force it to stop its uranium enrichment, but Iran responded with defiance.