PARIS (AFP) - On a high-profile visit to France, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi on Thursday rejected calls for new Iran sanctions and defended Beijings role in the global recovery. Threatening more sanctions against Iran will derail diplomatic efforts to resolve the dispute over Tehrans nuclear programme, the Minister warned. Yang criticised European protectionism, saying, the door must continue to be open to Chinese goods and services. He said China would not join the US, France and other Western powers in calling for sanctions against Iran for its refusal to stop enriching uranium. This talk of sanctions at this moment will complicate the situation and stand in the way of finding a diplomatic solution, Yang said at a public appearance at a French think tank. The US and its allies fear Iran is using a uranium enrichment drive to secretly develop fissile material for nuclear weapons. Iran says it only wants to produce fuel for a peaceful nuclear energy programme. Yang argued that Iran had not totally shut the door to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) efforts to negotiate a deal and argued that diplomacy should be given a chance. Meanwhile, the United States and key allies urged Iran Wednesday to follow up on a surprise U-turn from President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad by formally committing to a UN-brokered deal to swap enriched uranium for nuclear fuel. But there was also alarm and the renewed threat of new sanctions as Ahmadinejads apparent overture to the West on the nuclear issue was quickly followed by a rocket launch deemed by the White House a provocative act. Ahmadinejad bamboozled his critics on Tuesday by suggesting that a deal struck last October envisaging Iran sending some 70 percent of its low-enriched uranium abroad was suddenly back on. Conscious his remarks could simply be timed to stave off new sanctions at an upcoming meeting of world powers, the White House urged Iran to contact the IAEA). If those comments indicate some sort of change in position for Iran, then President Ahmadinejad should let the IAEA know, said deputy White House spokesman Bill Burton. The IAEA made a good-faith offer regarding the Tehran research reactor. Iran initially accepted the arrangement, but has not followed through and, in fact, seemed to move toward rejecting it, said US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The deal is still on the table, Hillary said. If Iran wishes to accept it, we look forward to hearing about it from the IAEA, because thats the appropriate venue for them to file an official response. Britains Foreign Office said: If Iran is willing to take up the IAEAs proposed offer, it would be a positive sign of their willingness to engage with the international community on nuclear issues. But it said that desire must be made clear to the IAEA and Ahmadinejads comment does not change the need for Iran to hold talks with the P5+1. Iran has to make concrete commitments to the IAEA and a concrete answer in Vienna is the only measure on which it can be assessed, German govt spokesman Ulrich Wilhelm said. But hours after Nejad said on state television that Iran would have no problem sending its stocks of low-enriched uranium abroad, the launch of a new Iranian space rocket drew fresh international criticism. This announcement can only reinforce the concerns of the international community as Iran in parallel develops a nuclear program that has no identifiable civil aims, a French Foreign Ministry spokesman said.