U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asked the Saudis to reassure China that they will meet any shortfall in its oil needs if further UN sanctions are imposed on Iran.
But Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal said on Monday that Chinese officials “need no suggestion from Saudi Arabia to do what they ought to do” over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear activities.
The Chinese “carry their responsibility” in dealing with Iran as a veto-wielding member of the UN Security Council, al-Faisal said after talks with Clinton in Riyadh.
“Sanctions are a long-term solution (but) … we see the issue in the shorter term because we are closer to the threat,” AFP quoted Prince Saud as saying.
“If we want security for the region, it requires an Iran at peace and happy with themselves,” he added.
Clinton arrived in the region to win the support of Arab Persian Gulf countries for a tougher line toward Tehran.
China has expressed reservations about imposing more sanctions on Iran and insists on more diplomatic efforts to resolve issues over Iran’s nuclear program.
Iran, which has been targeted with three rounds of UN sanctions, says its nuclear program is aimed at civilian applications of the technology and has repeatedly called for measures to eliminate all weapons of mass destruction across the globe.