China does not plan to hold debates on more sanctions on Iran's nuclear program during its Security Council presidency this month, despite U.S. demands for tougher sanctions.
Ambassador Zhang Yesui told reporters Tuesday "this is not the right time or moment for sanctions" and that diplomats need "more time and patience" to try to bridge differences.
He said his January agenda will focus on Afghanistan, Somalia, Nepal, Ivory Coast, Kosovo, Sudan and the Middle East.
The Obama administration and its international partners had imposed an end-of-2009 deadline for Iran to accept a U.N.-drafted deal to swap most of its enriched uranium for nuclear fuel. Iran dismissed the deadline.
Iran said Tuesday it welcomes U.S. comments and that there is no hard-and-fast deadline for starting nuclear dialogue.