China warns Iran again on nuclear aims

March 6, 2012 06:00

BEIJING - Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi on Tuesday repeated a warning that Beijing is opposed to Iran possessing nuclear weapons, but defended Tehran's right to peaceful nuclear power.

Yang, speaking at a news conference held as part of China's annual parliamentary session, reiterated that China opposed unilateral sanctions on Iran, against a backdrop of ratcheting international tensions over Tehran's nuclear activities.

Yang's comments come a day after the United Nations' nuclear watchdog's chief said he has "serious concerns" about possible military dimensions to Tehran's atomic activities, and after US President Barack Obama left open the possibility of military action if Iran builds a nuclear weapon.

Although Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao warned Tehran in January against any effort to acquire nuclear weapons, Beijing has generally been reticent about publicly warning Iran or even firmly suggesting that Tehran might want to develop the means to develop nuclear weapons.

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