TEHRAN, 6 Nov. (IPS) China said on Saturday that it will oppose the transfer to the United Nations Security Council of Iran’s nuclear file, but stopped short of saying it would use its veto power in case the United States and European Union’s three major nations presses for harsh sanctions against Tehran.
"My opinion on the issue is that referral of Iran’s file to the Security Council will make it more complicated and will not help with its settlement", Chinese Foreign Affairs Minister Li Zhaoxing said during a joint press conference in Tehran, adding “the right way is to solve the problem through dialogue and negotiations”.
"Iran has had good cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency and all ambiguities have been removed; thus, there is no reason to send the file to the Security Council", observed Mr. Li, who had arrived earlier in the morning for a two days official visit.
Veto cannot be used excessively since there are special limits to that.
But when asked by journalist if Peking would use its veto power against possible sanctions if Tehran was hauled to the Security Council, he said emphatically that "Veto cannot be used excessively since there are special limits to that".
"We must see if there is any ground for such a referral or who has the prerogative to do this", the Minister said, quoted by the official Iranian news agency IRNA.
But experts on the working of the world body expresses surprise, noting that both the United States and Russia have used and abused of its veto right, a power shared also by France and Britain.
“If the Iranians think that China would take their side against that of the United States at the UN, they are wrong, no matter that Tehran and Peking have signed a colossal natural gas deal worth 100 billions of US Dollars”, Professor Hermidas Bavand who teaches political sciences a Tehran University told the Persian service of Radio France International, adding that among the five nations that have the right of veto in the Security Council, China is the one that has used this power the least”.
“It is not in the Chinese policy to use veto at the Security Council unless there is something that affects directly its own interests, like the case of Taiwan and Li’s explanations about the limit, prerogatives or ground for using veto means very politely that Tehran should not count much on Peking for engaging Washington at the Security Council’, he added.
This view was confirmed by the Head of the Supreme National Security Council’s Foreign Policy Committee Hoseyn Moussavian in an interview with the hard line daily “Kayhan”, a mouthpiece of Mr. Khameneh’i.
"We would be mistaken if we thought China would ever stand up to the Americans and engage in an embroilment over Iran’s nuclear activities", Moussavian told the daily, quoting an unnamed Chinese diplomat as having told him once that the volume of our trade transactions with the Americans is “thousand times more than that with Iran”.
If the Iranians think that China would take their side against that of the United States at the UN, they are absolutely wrong.
The United States is accusing the Iranian ruling ayatollahs of seeking nuclear weapons by diverting atomic technologies for civilian purposes and is pressing the international nuclear watchdog to sent Iran’s case to the Security Council for economic sanctions unless Tehran stops completely and indefinitely all activities related to enriching uranium, as demanded by IAEA in its latest resolution sponsored by the EU Big 3 and adopted on 18 September 2004.
But Iran insists that it has no plan to produce nuclear weapons. "As we have often said, and even announced our jurisdiction decree on the issue, we are not after manufacturing, stock piling, or taking practical advantage of any type of nuclear weapons, strongly believing that a solid and strong nation and government relying on such a huge pious youth power is basically needless of nuclear weapons", Ayatollah Ali Khameneh’i, Iran’s leader stressed on Friday.
Asked about his phone talks with US Secretary of State Colin Powell and British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw prior to his Iran tour, the visiting Chinese minister said "I told them that the Islamic Republic has had good, constructive, and positive cooperation with the IAEA”.
Receiving Li, Hojjatoleslam Hasan Rohani, Iran’s senior nuclear negotiator with both the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in the past year, Iran has satisfied all demands from the IAEA and now it is the turn of the Agency’s Board of Directors to help closing Iran’s file.
“We shall continue cooperating with IAEA, but would not accept the law of force”, Mr. Rohani told Li, adding that both Iran and China are for solving problems by the mean of negotiations and against a one polar world, a reference to he United States as the world’s sole master.
As Li was meeting with Iranian officials, including President Mohammad Khatami and Chairman of Expediency Council Ayatollah Ali Akbar hashemi Rafsanjani, in Paris meanwhile representatives from Iran were continuing “complicated and difficult” talks with counterparts from Britain, France and Germany.
Asked about the results of Saturday’s negotiations between representatives of Iran and the EU big trio, Britain, France, and Germany, in Paris, he said, "Although the two sides are holding tough talks, they are eager to keep negotiating.
"This is to the advantage of both parties to reach an agreement on authorizing Iran to enjoy its inalienable right to use nuclear knowledge for peaceful purposes. It will assure the other countries that Iran does not seek nuclear weapons", Kharrazi said, stressing that his country is ready to negotiate or carry out any confidence-building measure but not suspending enriching uranium for ever.
The second round of Paris talks ended after seven hours, with informed sources telling briefly Iran Press service that “all is not hat bad”. ENDS CHINA IRAN 61104