China: Sanctions are not a solution

Beijing supports dual-track strategy; Iran: China wouldn't back US.

Obama Jintao 311 (photo credit: Associated Press)
Obama Jintao 311
(photo credit: Associated Press)
As US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao prepared for the second day of the Washington nuclear summit Tuesday, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said sanctions were not a solution to the Iranian nuclear issue, according to AFP.
Following a meeting on the sidelines of the summit on Monday, the two leaders had stated that their respective countries “shared the same overall goal on the Iranian nuclear issue.” The statement followed months of action by the UN and Western powers to warm China toward the possibility of sanctions on Teheran.
Tuesday’s statement from Beijing reportedly called for a “dual-track strategy” in which diplomacy and dialogue with Teheran on the issue of its nuclear development and defiant rhetoric would continue as world leaders mull the possibility of sanctions.
"China always believes that dialogue and negotiation are the best wayout for the issue. Pressure and sanctions cannot fundamentally solveit," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu was quoted as saying.
Meanwhile on Tuesday, Iran expressed uncertainty over the possibilitythat China would back new sanctions against it. Iranian ForeignMinistry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said Teheran did not considerMonday's joint statement by Obama and Hu to be Chinese "approval of theUS stance and unfair actions."
He told reporters on Tuesday that "our interpretation is different," but did not elaborate.
The West fears Iran's nuclear program masks ambitions to obtain anuclear weapon and is pushing for new sanctions. Teheran denies thecharge.