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2010/12/01

[轉載] China bolsters US push for Iran sanctions


 

By Harvey Morris in New York

Published: April 9 2010

 

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/53163bd0-43f7-11df-9235-00144feab49a,dwp_uuid=36de51b2-4611-11de-803f-00144feabdc0,print=yes.html

 

 

The US and its western allies achieved a diplomatic breakthrough of sorts on Friday after China joined talks at the United Nations in New York to consider a fourth round of sanctions against Iran.

But both Beijing and Russia stressed they had not closed the door to a diplomatic solution to the stand-off with Iran over the country’s nuclear ambitions.

“I don’t think any of us want to impose sanctions. We all want a diplomatic solution,” Vitaly Churkin, Russian ambassador to the UN, said after a three-hour meeting with fellow envoys from the US, China, UK, France and Germany.

He, nevertheless, reflected on Moscow’s impatience with Iran’s failure to compromise, adding: “All sorts of constructive proposals have been put to Iran. If Iran wants to negotiate, it should start negotiating.”

China had previously insisted that it was too early even to consider more sanctions against Iran. Beijing’s participation in the talks marks a softening of this stance.

The six powers dealing with Iran on the nuclear issue are following a “dual track” policy, offering Iran the incentive of negotiations coupled with the pressure of further sanctions.

After the latest talks, Li Baodong, Chinese ambassador, stressed the importance of the former. “The dual-track approach is actually focused on diplomacy.”

Even if China agrees to impose more economic pressure on Iran, negotiating a new sanctions resolution is expected to take weeks before the issue reaches a Security Council vote.

A further meeting at ambassadorial level is expected next week, and Iran is likely to be raised in the margins of President Barack Obama’s 47-nation nuclear summit that opens in Washington on Monday, according to P.J. Crowley, State Department spokesman.

Iran’s latest statements provide little optimism about a diplomatic breakthrough. A political ally of Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad, the president, warned on Friday that Iran’s allies would retaliate if the US attacked its nuclear facilities. “If America makes a crazy move, its interests will be endangered by Iran’s allies around the globe,” Ahmad Khatami told Friday prayers at Tehran University.

Russia and China have urged Iran to accept a confidence-building proposal for a nuclear fuel swap to power a research reactor in Tehran. The deal would involve Iran sending uranium abroad for further enrichment.

Tehran rejected the proposal on the grounds that it would have no guarantee when or if the enriched fuel would be returned.

Western diplomats note that such a fuel-swap deal would not resolve the broader issues surrounding Iran’s nuclear programme, which Tehran insists is purely peaceful. But its acceptance would make it harder to press the case for more sanctions.



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