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China’s Wen says opposes nuclear weapons in Middle East

China's Wen says opposes nuclear weapons in Middle East

Iran is at the centre of a standoff over its disputed nuclear programme, which the West suspects is aimed at developing nuclear weapons. Iran says its aim is the peaceful production of electricity.

June 6, 2012 7:21 by



Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao told visiting Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Wednesday that China opposes any Middle East country acquiring nuclear weapons, state news agency Xinhua reported.

Iran is at the centre of a standoff over its disputed nuclear programme, which the West suspects is aimed at developing nuclear weapons. Iran says its aim is the peaceful production of electricity.

Wen added that China “upholds that the Iranian nuclear issue should be addressed through diplomatic channels in an impartial way”, the report added.

Ahmadinejad is in China to attend a security summit hosted by the Russia- and China-led Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.

China and Iran have close energy and trade ties, and Beijing has repeatedly resisted U.S.-led demands to impose tougher economic sanctions on Iran to curb its nuclear ambitions.

China has repeatedly urged a negotiated solution to the dispute over Tehran’s atomic activities and has condemned sanctions imposed by the United States and European Union which have not been supported by the U.N. Security Council.

A “WOLF” TRYING TO DEVOUR WORLD

However, differences have arisen between China and Iran in the development of Iran’s oil and gas resources.

“Our intention is to comprehensively develop our relations with China. We are very happy to see China’s prosperity,” Ahmadinejad later told Wen, according to a pool report.

“Our bilateral ties have no negative aspects and we are very happy to keep developing our ties.”

For his part, Ahmadinejad told university students in Beijing that a “wolf” was trying to consume the world in a thinly disguised criticism of the United States, and urged Beijing to stand with Tehran to promote world peace.

“In our time, a wolf has been discovered that is trying to devour the world,” he said, according to Iranian state news agency IRNA.

“This wolf has launched several wars across the globe and along with the Zionist regime, it has put the Palestinian nation under pressure… In this world today, we need leaders who are virtuous.”

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard and Chris Buckley; Editing by Nick Macfie)



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