AFP: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said China will play a role in international efforts to pen sanctions against Iran at the United Nations, and that Beijing recognizes the threat of Iran's nuclear program. OTTAWA (AFP) — US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said China will play a role in international efforts to pen sanctions against Iran at the United Nations, and that Beijing recognizes the threat of Iran's nuclear program.
"I think as the weeks go forward and we begin the hard work of trying to come up with a Security Council resolution, China will be involved," Clinton said Monday in an interview with Canadian television.
"China is part of the consultative group that has been unified all along the way, which has made it very clear that a nuclear-armed Iran is not acceptable to the international community," she said.
China has been seen as the most hesitant member of the so-called "P5-plus-1" — the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany that are negotiating with Iran — over imposing further sanctions.
"We're going to have to try to come to some consensus. And we're in the middle of that process," the top US diplomat told CTV in Ottawa, to attend a foreign ministers G8 conference on global security.
China last week joined the other five nations in a conference call to weigh proposed new UN sanctions against Iran.
Western powers suspect Iran is developing nuclear weapons, although the clerical regime says its uranium enrichment is for peaceful purposes.
Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg meanwhile said Monday that Chinese officials were willing to talk to him about cooperation on Iran when he visited Beijing earlier this month.
"We've had a recognition, I think, by our Chinese counterparts of the danger of the Iranian nuclear program and the fact that there does not seem to be a willingness on the Iranians to take the very generous offer that the P5-plus-1 made to them," Steinberg told reporters in Washington.
"Despite the very serious efforts, which we support, of the Chinese to encourage diplomacy on the part of the Iranians, they don't seem to be responsive," he said.