Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin called China’s announcement that it will further
study the IAEA report before deciding whether or not to sanction Iran a “bluff,”
during a Thursday meeting with Chinese ambassador to Israel Gao
China’s Foreign Ministry said that sanction on Iran cannot
“fundamentally” resolve the Iran nuclear dispute, following publication of a
by the International Atomic Energy Agency that the Islamic Republic is
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“We always believe that dialogue and
cooperation is the right way to solve the Iranian nuclear issue. Sanctions
cannot fundamentally solve the issue,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong
The spokesman continue by saying that “diplomatic efforts” were
now the pressing task for the parties involved.
Rivlin responded to the
statement by China with skepticism.
“I heard the Chinese stance that
there is no need for a reaction to Iran’s nuclear arms, because they must learn
the subject,” he said. “This attempt to buy time, when there is no time, is just
“China is close to becoming a super-power. We believe that if
China joins the sanctions against Iran, it will have an influence,” Rivlin
explained to Gao.
In the past, Beijing has said that sanctions are not a
“fundamental” answer, but ultimately voted for UN Security Council resolutions
imposing sanctions in Iran for nuclear activities.
“Israel faces calls
for its destruction again and again, and this time it is not said behind closed
doors, but on the stage of the UN,” Rivlin stated. “Iran announced that it does
not accept the existence of a Jewish state in the Land of Israel.”
not speaking as a diplomat. I am expressing the fears of Israelis, the fears of
the Jewish people. China must understand that Israel is being
Rivlin also said “Israel will have to act” if faced with an
imminent Iranian threat.
“Taking care of Iranian nuclear weapons is the
whole free world’s responsibility, and not that of Israel,” he explained.
“However, we cannot stand silently before our enemies.”
“If Israel faces
an imminent threat, it will have to act. That is our duty. Israel cannot leave
everything up to the heavens,” the Knesset speaker stated.
Gao that “the Chinese cannot continue to be on the fence – they must choose a
The Chinese ambassador told Rivlin that her country is “very
responsible. Our stance on the Iranian matter is well-known: We oppose nuclear
“The Chinese government is researching the [IAEA] report,” Gao
added. “We will study its findings and make the correct decision.”
response, Rivlin pointed out that “in 1936, the world decided to wait and
participated in the Berlin Olympics, and met Hitler. Everyone knows how that
“China has connections with Iran, and Iran needs to trade with
China no less than China needs Iranian oil,” the Knesset speaker said. “As long
as Iran isn’t hurt economically, as long as it is not hit with paralyzing
sanctions, it has no reason to stop developing nuclear weapons.”
said that China must be willing to use its veto power in the UN Security
Council, so that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will not be free to act
as he pleases.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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