Tehran lobbies China against new Iran sanctions
Tehran urged China not to bend to US pressure for new Iran sanctions, which Vice President Joe Biden strongly supported in meetings with top Israel leaders today.
Tehran stepped up its diplomatic push to avoid a new set of sanctions against Iran on Tuesday, calling on China not to buckle under pressure from a US-led effort to slap a fourth round of United Nations Security Council sanctions on Tehran over its nuclear program.Skip to next paragraph
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“China is a great country which enjoys enough power to pursue its own decisions independently without being pressured by America,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehranparast said of the Islamic Republic’s closest trading partner. “Of course our expectations from such a big country is the same … to pursue its foreign policies independently and just observe its own national interests.
Iran’s diplomatic nod toward Beijing comes as US Vice President Joe Biden stated in Israel Tuesday that Washington was “determined to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, and we’re working with many countries around the world.”
Biden: No space between US, Israel on Iran
Mr. Biden said there was “no space between the United States and Israel when it comes to Israel’s security.” Israel routinely declares that Iran is an existential threat to the Jewish state.
Arch-foe Iran has consistently stated that its program is only for peaceful power purposes, that Islam forbids atomic bombs, and that it wants a Middle East free of all nuclear weapons – a reference to Israel’s unacknowledged arsenal of an estimated 200 warheads.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he was pleased that the Obama administration was pushing hard for more sanctions on Iran. Israeli officials have warned of their own military action against Iran.
“The stronger those sanctions are, the more likely it will be that the Iranian regime will have to choose between advancing its nuclear program and advancing the future of its own permanence,” said Mr. Netanyahu after meeting with Biden.