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China warns Iran sanctions will derail diplomacy

Last Updated: Thursday, February 4, 2010 - 22:10

Paris: Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi
warned on Thursday that threatening more sanctions against Iran will
derail diplomatic efforts to resolve the dispute over Tehran`s
nuclear programme.

"This talk of sanctions at this moment will complicate
the situation and stand in the way of finding a diplomatic
solution," Yang told a gathering at a French think-tank.
China, a member of the UN Security Council, has called
for more dialogue with Tehran, clashing with France and the
United States which are seeking to move toward sanctions.

Yang was due to meet President Nicolas Sarkozy later
Thursday for talks that were expected to touch on calls for
tightening sanctions on Iran for its refusal to stop enriching

The United States and its Western allies fear Iran is
using an uranium enrichment drive to to secretly develop
fissile material for nuclear weapons. Iran says it only wants
to produce fuel for a peaceful nuclear energy programme.

Yang argued that Iran had not "totally shut the door" to
efforts by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to
negotiate a deal that would address concerns about its
enrichment programme.
French Prime Minister Francois Fillon said Wednesday he
would ask the United Nations to adopt a new resolution against
Iran that would include "strong sanctions".

US Defence Secretary Robert Gates also said Iran faces
the prospect of "severe sanctions" from the UN Security
Council and also directly from Western countries.


First Published: Thursday, February 4, 2010 - 22:10
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