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  • » 04/22/2010, 00.00

    IRAN – UNITED STATES – CHINA

    Beijing trying to “water down” sanctions against Tehran



    China has proposed amendments to US-drafted sanctions. The mainland is Iran’s biggest trading partner, and depends on its energy supplies. The United States does not exclude the military option. Turkey offers to mediate.
    New York (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The resolution that would impose new sanctions against Iran over its nuclear programme is in trouble. As expected, China wants to water it down. For its part, Iran has been on a diplomatic offensive to sway non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, like Lebanon and Uganda, and has already secured the “understanding” of Brazil and Turkey. The latter has also offered to mediate the dispute.

    Beijing’s reluctance to impose more sanctions is understandable. China relies on Iran for 11 per cent of its energy needs and last year became Tehran's biggest trading partner

    The proposed new sanctions, drafted by the United States, approved by the United Kingdom, France and Germany and accepted by Russia would impose strict limits on investment in Iran’s oil and gas industry. China is directly involved in that sector.

    According to reports from the United Nations, China is resisting tough sanctions. Conversely, the United States is turning up the pressure.

    “We are not taking any options off the table,” Geoff Morrell, the US Defence Department's press secretary said Wednesday.

    The comments came as officials faced a flurry of questions after Michele Flournoy, the US undersecretary of Defence for policy, reportedly said that a strike against Iran would be a "last resort".

    Asked about Flournoy's reported remarks Geoff Morrell said US strategy over Iran's nuclear programme remained unchanged.

    “It clearly is not our preference to go to war with Iran, to engage militarily with Iran. Nobody wishes to do that, but she [Ms Flournoy] also makes it clear it's not off the table.”

    Yesterday, China proposed changes to a US-drafted resolution in a private meeting. Sanctions, diplomatic sources say, would focus on Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, which controls companies and organisations that are linked to weapons proliferation.

    Sanctions would extend the existing arms embargo to include the importation of light weapons and would curtail new investments in Iran's lucrative energy sector.

    The draft resolution would also strengthen financial measures that now call on all countries “to exercise vigilance” in entering into new trade commitments with Iran, including granting export credits, guarantees or insurance, and it would add new names of individuals and entities to a list of those subject to an asset freeze and travel ban for their proliferation-related activities.

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    See also

    01/04/2010 CHINA – IRAN
    Beijing wants peaceful solution to Iran nuclear standoff
    Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang says China is in favour of talks with the 5+1 group but favours diplomacy over sanctions. Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator arrives in Beijing today.

    03/08/2005 IRAN
    As he is endorsed President, Ahmadinejad calls for the suppression of weapons of mass destruction
    "I hope to remove the seals and resume activities [in the Isfahan facilities] today," says Iran's National Security Council spokesman Ali Agha Mohammadi.

    23/03/2007 IRAN – UNITED NATIONS
    UN Vote on new sanctions against Iran expected tomorrow
    The resolution that will be tabled tomorrow in the Security Council is expected to include an arms export ban, trade and financial restrictions and a travel ban on certain Iranian officials.

    23/08/2006 IRAN – UNITED NATIONS
    Tehran open to "dialogue", mum on uranium enrichment
    Iran's reply to the offer made by the 5+1 group is taking the wind out of the UN ultimatum. As the international community splits over the issue, Tehran carries out a new round of military exercises.

    16/03/2007 UN - IRAN
    For Teheran, Security Council agreement on new sanctions nothing but "Waste Paper”
    The draft, drawn up in agreement by the “5+1”, will be discussed next week; predicts block on all arms exports from Iran and freeze on financial assistance. Tehran wants to participate in the session.



    Editor's choices

    VATICAN
    Pope: together with the faithful in China on 24 May to celebrate Our Lady of Sheshan



    During the Regina Caeli, Pope Francis speaks about the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China, instituted by Benedict XVI. Chinese Catholics must make a “personal contribution to communion among believers and to harmony in the whole society." AsiaNews Symposium on the Church in China is set for this week. Francis appeals for peace in the Central African Republic, and for loving “one another following the example of the Lord”. For him, “Sometimes conflicts, pride, envy, and divisions leave a blotch on the beautiful face of the Church.” Five new cardinals will be named, including a bishop from Laos.


    VATICAN-CHINA
    May 24, 2017: 'China, the Cross is Red', AsiaNews Symposium

    Bernardo Cervellera

    The event will be held to mark the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China. A title with many meanings: the Cross is red from the blood of the martyrs; From attempts to suffocate the faith with state control; Bceause of the contribution of hope that Christianity gives to a population tired of materialism and consumerism that is seeking new moral criteria. The theme is also about the great and unexpected religious rebirth in the country. Guests to include: Card. Pietro Parolin, Msgr. Savio Hon, the sociologist of religions Richard Madsen, the testimonies of Chinese priests and laity.


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