Beijing to join talks on Iran issue

08:49, April 09, 2010      

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China confirmed that it would join other world powers in New York today in talks on devising solutions to address the Iran nuclear issue.

"China will participate in the relevant discussions," Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu told reporters. "But we maintain that dialogue and consultation are the best way to solve the dispute."

Washington has been gearing up to win collective backing from the international community on imposing new sanctions against Iran.

US President Barack Obama last month invited French President Nicolas Sarkozy to a private dinner, a move widely seen as consolidating ties with the entire European continent, although 14 votes are needed to impose sanctions.

China, weathering Washington's pressure on its currency policy, adhered to its unwavering stance of engaging in dialogue to resolve the Iran standoff.

Russia, which claimed its readiness to implement "smart" sanctions, modified several days ago its wording by sticking to its original plan of negotiations.

For the remaining nations, Lebanon is widely expected to oppose or abstain. Brazil and Turkey, two rotating seat-holding members on the UN Security Council, also have reservations.

However, both the US and the EU are reportedly considering further unilateral sanctions.

The New York Times quoted Stefan Halper, who served in the White House and the US State Department under former presidents Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, as saying that there is no hope of China siding with the US and Europe on the Iran issue.

"China so far has only agreed to negotiations about sanctions," the newspaper said.

"Diverse interests make rendering a coordinated action difficult," Su Jingxiang, a researcher at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, told the Global Times.

"Iran has pivotal significance in Washington's Central Asia strategic deployment, and is even vital to preserving its global domination. Russia has reaped benefits from nuclear cooperation with Iran. China will pursue an independent foreign policy, and will neither yield to external pressure nor Washington's postponement of labeling China as a currency manipulator," Su added.

Meanwhile, Iran plans to hold a two-day nuclear disarmament conference April 17, days after the US-hosted nuclear security summit in Washington, in a bid to demonstrate that its nuclear initiatives serve peaceful uses.

China is expected to participate in the upcoming meeting, which will draw experts and officials from some 60 nations.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also said Thursday that he won't beg the world powers not to hit Tehran with another set of UN sanctions.

"Of course we do not like sanctions. ... But when they talk about it, we won't beg them (not to do it)," he said.

Source: Global Times


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