Iran test 311.
(photo credit: Associated Press)
BEIJING — China opposes the sanctions the European Union is imposing on Iran over its disputed nuclear program, saying it supports Iran's renewed efforts to hold talks on a possible swap of nuclear fuel, a spokeswoman for Beijing said Friday.
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China often says dialogue and diplomatic means are the best way to resolve the Iran nuclear issue, and a spokeswoman for China's Foreign Ministry, Jiang Yu, repeated that position in comments posted on the ministry's website.
The European Union and Canada adopted new sanctions Monday against Iran that target its foreign trade, banking and energy sectors.
The countries worry Iran's nuclear program could be used for weapons.
Iran denies it, saying its program is intended solely for peaceful
purposes such as energy generation.
"China does not agree with the EU's unilateral sanctions against Iran,"
Jiang said. China made a similar objection when the United States
recently imposed its own sanctions.
The US and others continue to pressure China for a stronger stance
against Iran. China has vast energy needs and has large investments in
Iran, and its position as a permanent member of the Security Council can
challenge further UN pressure on the issue.
Senior US officials said Thursday that they would travel soon to China,
Japan, South Korea and the United Arab Emirates to demand compliance
with a new, fourth round of UN Security Council measures against Iran.
Tehran has tried to deflect further sanctions by offering to talk
about the nuclear issue.
This week, Teheran's senior envoy to the International Atomic Energy
Agency, Ali Ashgar Soltanieh, told reporters that "Iran is ready to go
back to the negotiating table" quickly to discuss exchanging some of its
enriched uranium for fuel rods for Tehran's nuclear reactor.