China: Iran Sanctions 'Counterproductive'
China's new Ambassador to the United Nations
in Geneva says his country does not want Iran to have nuclear weapons. But he
says his country is opposed to sanctions against Iran, calling them
In his first news conference since assuming his post
as Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Chinese Ambassador He Yafei
tells journalists in Geneva his country does not want Iran to become a member of
the nuclear-weapons club.
View of Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant in Southern Iran
Iran says its nuclear program is strictly for peaceful purposes
He notes Iran is a member of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty and, as such,
he says it is entitled to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
"But, Iran should not develop any capability that can produce nuclear weapons.
That would be very de-stabilizing and that would be against NPT
[non-proliferation treaty] regime. China is very much for safeguarding and
strengthening the nuclear non-proliferation regime," he said.
Ambassador He says China is opposed to imposing sanctions against countries in
general and against Iran in particular. He says sanctions usually do not work
because they target ordinary people, who are the ones who suffer.
The United States and other Western powers accuse Iran of secretly working to
develop nuclear weapons, a charge Teheran refutes. Iran says it is developing
nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
Iran has backtracked on a deal with the West to exchange low-enriched uranium
for higher-grade fuel that can be used in a reactor producing medical isotopes.
This has particularly angered the United States, which is threatening to push
for United Nations sanctions against Iran.
Chinese Ambassador He opposes going down this road. He says China does not
think sanctions will work and urges dialogue as a better way to go.
"I think the door of compromise through negotiations, the door of diplomacy is
not closed, is not closed. We need to do our best and we need to exhaust every
avenue before we decide on whether we should have new additional sanction
measures," the ambassador said.
On another issue, the ambassador rejects Washington's criticism that China is
intentionally keeping the value of its currency, the Yuan, artificially low to
boost its exports.
Trade tensions between the United States and China have been rising. And, many
U.S. lawmakers are calling for stiff tariffs on Chinese goods. Ambassador He
accuses Congress of using China as a scapegoat to explain its own economic
... Payvand News - 03/18/10 ... --