Reuters: A new round of sanctions imposed on Iran by the U.N. Security Council for refusing to suspend nuclear enrichment will not affect China’s trade with that country, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Tuesday. BEIJING (Reuters) – A new round of sanctions imposed on Iran by the U.N. Security Council for refusing to suspend nuclear enrichment will not affect China’s trade with that country, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Tuesday.
The sanctions resolution calls for more travel and financial curbs on Iranian individuals and companies and makes some restrictions mandatory.
It also expands a previous partial ban on trade in items with both civilian and military uses to cover sales of all such technology to Iran.
Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang said China’s trade with Iran was “normal”.
“China, along with other countries, has trade exchanges with Iran. These trade exchanges are within the normal range of exchange and collaboration between sovereign nations,” he told a news conference.
“Thus they have no correlation with Iran’s nuclear plans and also do not go against the U.N. Security Council’s resolutions. We hope for such trade exchanges and request collaboration in such trade exchanges,” Qin added.
China has become an increasingly important trading partner with Iran as expanding U.N. and U.S. sanctions have encouraged Western businesses to scale back dealings with the Islamic Republic.
During a visit to Tehran late last year, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi was quoted as saying Beijing wanted to boost ties with Iran further.
In 2007, Iran was China’s third-largest supplier of crude oil, with volumes rising by 22.4 percent from the previous year.
Qin repeated that Beijing believed the best way to deal with Iran was via talks.
“The aim is not to punish Iran but to push for a return to talks, to start a new round of diplomatic efforts. China hopes the Security Council’s and the International Atomic Energy Agency’s resolutions are put into effect earnestly and completely,” he said.
“Diplomatic talks are the best choice for solving the Iran nuclear issue,” Qin added.
“China calls on all sides to take a very responsible and constructive attitude, show necessary flexibility, and have talks as soon as possible to find an all-round, long-term, appropriate way to solve the Iran nuclear issue. China will continue to play a constructive role to this end,” he said.
(Reporting by Beijing newsroom; Writing by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Nick Macfie)