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(photo credit: AP)
China balked Tuesday at the increased US sanctions against Iran last
week over its nuclear program, criticizing the US for unilaterally
expanding on UN sanctions.
As a permanent member of the Security Council and key Iranian ally,
China could have vetoed the sanctions, but after considerable
international pressure it agreed to support them.
Beijing said Tuesday that the United
States and other countries should not expand on the latest UN sanctions
imposed on Iran over its nuclear program.
Obama welcomes Iran sanctions
Iran: Sanctions won't stop us
China did not exercise
its veto power last month when the UN Security Council approved
sanctions that target Iran's Revolutionary Guard, ballistic missiles and
The United States followed that up
when President Barack Obama signed a bill Thursday that imposed tough
unilateral sanctions against exports of gasoline and other refined
petroleum products to Iran. It bans U.S. banks from doing business with
foreign banks providing services to Iran's Revolutionary Guard.
supports the UN sanctions. China believes that countries should have
correct implementation of the sanctions instead of expanding the
sanctions," Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told a news conference.
The UN sanctions seek to punish Iran for rejecting proposals to halt uranium enrichment and take its nuclear fuel from abroad. The West and its allies fear Iran is developing nuclear weapons, though Iran says it is seeking nuclear power only for peaceful energy and medical research purposes.
But China has said its support for sanctions should not block efforts to
find a diplomatic solution, and has called for renewed attempts to
bring Iran back to the negotiating table.
China's bilateral trade with Iran reached at least $36.5 billion last
year. Iran meets 11 percent of China's energy needs and Chinese
companies have major investments in Iranian energy extraction projects
and the construction of roads, bridges and power plants.
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