Discussing Iran Sanctions Hinders Diplomacy: China

PARIS (Reuters) – China told other world powers on Thursday that
discussing broader sanctions against Iran was counterproductive,
striking a blow to a Western push to rein in Tehran’s nuclear program.

Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi told a conference during a visit to France
that Tehran’s negotiating position was evolving and he wanted to see
more direct talks with Iran.

“To talk about sanctions at the
moment will complicate the situation and might stand in the way of
finding a diplomatic solution,” Yang said.

France is among Western
powers pushing for the U.N. Security
to approve a fourth round of sanctions against Iran by the
end of March to try to force Tehran to freeze uranium enrichment, which
can have peaceful or military purposes.

Russia, like China, has
extensive economic ties with Iran and has also expressed reservations at
the Security Council over sanctions. But a Russian lawmaker said
Thursday understanding between it and other powers on extra sanctions
had increased.

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