Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said he warned top Chinese officials
that Iran presents the greatest threat to world peace and stability,
Israel Radio reported on Sunday.
Following talks with Chinese
Vice President Xi Jinping and Liberman's counterpart Yang Jiechi,
Liberman told reporters that he hoped international sanctions on Tehran
could convince the government there to abandon its nuclear program, but
reiterated Israel's right to defend itself should the diplomatic
Liberman, who is visiting China to celebrate 20
years of ties between Jerusalem and Beijing, told reporters on Friday
that all options are on the table with Iran, saying Jerusalem prefers
resolving the Iranian nuclear issue through talks with the P5+1 and
His comments came two days after the Belgium-based SWIFT, which facilitates the bulk
of global cross-border payments, said it would disconnect designated
Iranian financial firms from its messaging system. The move shuts down a
major avenue through which Tehran does business with the rest of the
China has resisted Western efforts to
exert pressure on Iran by imposing sanctions on its oil exports, much of
which flows to China.
He spoke a
day after the Belgium-based SWIFT, which facilitates the bulk of global
cross-border payments, said it would disconnect designated Iranian financial
firms from its messaging system. The move shuts down a major avenue through
which Tehran does business with the rest of the world.
Liberman noted Beijing's importance in
dealing with Tehran and its nuclear a genda, Israel Radio reported. China
sits on the P5+1 group, which also includes the United States, the
United Kingdom, France, Russia and Germany.
declined to provide details of his discussions with the Chinese
officials, or comment on whether he was satisfied with Beijing's
position vis a vis Iran, according to the report.
Oman warns on military confrontation with Iran
Also on Sunday Oman, located strategically on the opposite side of the Strait of Hormuz from Iran, said the risk of military conflict between Tehran and the West was rising but there was still plenty of opportunity to negotiate peace.
Iran has repeatedly denied charges by Western nations it is developing the capability to build nuclear weapons, but the United States and European Union have recently imposed tougher sanctions in an effort to convince Tehran to curb its nuclear program.
"It is in the interest of both sides to come to the middle road," Yousuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah, the sultanate's minister responsible for foreign affairs, told Reuters at the Foreign Ministry in Muscat.
"We can see that the threat of an unfortunate flash of military confrontation is more possible rather than it is remote."
Oman on several occasions has acted as an intermediary between Iran and the West.
Last year, Oman's Sultan Qaboos bin Said facilitated the release of two US hikers held by Tehran for spying, and three French aid workers held hostage by Yemeni tribesmen were freed in November after Oman negotiated their release.