China opposes EU's Iran sanctions

The superpower prefers solving nuclear issue diplomatically.

Iran test 311 (photo credit: Associated Press)
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.
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.
RELATED:US: Iran sanctions starting to biteAnalysis: EU and Teheran -  A collision in slow motion
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.