BEIJING - China's Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that sanctions cannot "fundamentally" resolve the Iran nuclear issue, after Western leaders urged expanded sanctions against Iran over a UN watchdog report that Iran has worked to design atom bombs.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a daily news briefing that sanctions were not a "fundamental" answer, but Beijing has used similar words before, when it ultimately voted for United Nations Security Council resolutions imposing sanctions on Iran for its disputed nuclear activities.
Hong warned on Wednesday against turmoil in the Middle East from action over Iran's nuclear program, but declined to comment on the possibility of new sanctions following the UN report. Veto-wielder Russia indicated it would block new measures at the UN Security Council.
As permanent members of the Council, China and Russia have the power to veto proposed resolutions.