China has announced once more that it will not join with the West in imposing sanctions on Iran, emphasizing that talks and cooperation are the only correct and effective path to resolving nuclear disputes with the Islamic Republic.
The Xinhua News Agency reports that Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao told German Chancellor Angela Merkel that the use of force would create confusion and chaos in the Middle East and the world, which is in no one’s interest. Merkel was in China to lobby about Europe’s financial health but she also urged Beijing to help persuade Tehran to refrain from developing nuclear weapons.
Wen added that China will only support a return to negotiations with Iran.
China is one of Iran’s significant trade partners, receiving 10 percent of its oil imports from the country.
Both China and Russia have refused to join the recent wave of sanctions on Iran. It was prompted by the International Atomic Energy Agency’s latest report, which indicated that Iran’s nuclear program might have a military component.
The European Union and the United States have laid sanctions against Iran’s Central Bank, and most recently the EU has begun an embargo on Iranian petroleum products.
Russia has accused the West of using sanctions to bring about a regime change in Iran.
Iran insists that its nuclear program is peaceful and refuses to stop uranium enrichment, which it says it must do to provide fuel for its reactors.