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China criticises new EU sanctions on Iran

India and China imports

China is Iran's largest crude oil customer and, along with Russia, has resisted putting sanctions on Tehran.

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October 16, 2012 1:52 by



China criticised the European Union on Tuesday for imposing new sanctions on Iran over its controversial nuclear programme, calling again for talks to resolve the stand-off.

The EU governments’ sanctions target major Iranian state companies in the oil and gas industry, and strengthen restrictions on the central bank, cranking up pressure on the country which has close trade ties with Beijing.

China is Iran’s largest crude oil customer and, along with Russia, has resisted putting sanctions on Tehran.

“We oppose the imposition of unilateral sanctions on Iran and believe that using sanctions to exert pressure cannot fundamentally resolve the Iran nuclear issue,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a daily news briefing.

“It can only make the situation more complex and intensify confrontation… We hope that all relevant parties can show flexibility, increase communication and push for a new round of talks as soon as possible.”

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who represents the United States, China, Russia, Britain, France andGermany in their on-and-off talks with Iran, said on Monday she hoped turning up the heat on Iran would persuade it to make concessions and that negotiations could resume “very soon”.

The United States and its allies accuse Iran of using its atomic programme as a cover to develop nuclear weapons and have imposed increasingly stringent economic sanctions to try to force Iran to answer questions about it.

Iran has said its programme is for solely peaceful purposes.



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1 Comment

  1. dismanirie on October 18, 2012 3:59 pm

    It is unacceptable that the Iranian people should be forced to suffer under these sanctions. It is clear that the aim is régime change, and the US and EU are being disingenuous in pretending otherwise.

    On the other hand, the corrupt rulers of Iran are not to be trusted and if they claim they are developing enrichment only for peaceful purposes, they should open up their nuclear industry for full, unfettered inspection and monitoring by the IAEA.

    Who will blink first?

     

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