China: Iran sanctions are not the solution

Updated: 2006-12-24 15:32

BEIJING - China on Sunday called on all sides to resume talks on Iran's nuclear programme, adding that although it supported the UN resolution to punish Iran, Beijing did not think sanctions could solve the problem.

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"We hope that the resolution is earnestly enforced, but we also think that sanctions are not the objective and cannot be a permanent solution to the problem," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said in a statement.

The UN Security Council, of which China is a permanent member, voted unanimously on Saturday to impose sanctions on Iran's trade in sensitive nuclear materials and technology, an effort to stop enrichment work that could be used in bombs.

"The Chinese side calls on all sides to continue all-out diplomatic efforts to push for an early resumption of talks and seek a long-term, comprehensive solution," Liu said in the statement carried on the Foreign Ministry's Web site (

"The Chinese side has all along supported protecting the system of international non-proliferation, opposing the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and hopes there is no new unrest in the Middle East," Liu said.

China "also upholds political and diplomatic efforts to peacefully solve the Iran nuclear question by talks", he added.

The resolution demands that Iran end all research on uranium enrichment, which can produce fuel for nuclear power plants as well as for bombs, and halt all research and development on methods of producing or delivering atomic weapons.

The thrust of the sanctions is a ban on imports and exports of dangerous materials and technology relating to uranium enrichment, reprocessing and heavy-water reactors, as well as ballistic missile delivery systems.

The measure is less restrictive than the original draft, drawn up by Britain, France and Germany, due to Russian objections. A ban on Iran's oil exports was not considered.

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