Bloomberg: China is concerned about Iran’s decision to accelerate uranium enrichment and wants the government in Tehran to heed international criticism of the move, China’s ambassador to the United Nations said. April 12 (Bloomberg) — China is concerned about Iran’s decision to accelerate uranium enrichment and wants the government in Tehran to heed international criticism of the move, China’s ambassador to the United Nations said.
“We are concerned about the events and the way things are developing,” Ambassador Wang Guangya said in China’s first reaction to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s statement yesterday that Iran was in the “nuclear club” and would accelerate enrichment. “I hope the Iranians will take note of the reaction and be more cooperative.”
Iran rejected a Security Council demand for suspension of the program by the end of this month, a statement adopted on March 29 with China’s backing. China and Russia, saying Iran’s nuclear program isn’t a threat to international peace and opposing discussion of sanctions, resisted efforts by the U.S., U.K. and France to apply even greater UN pressure.
The Islamic Republic used 164 centrifuges to produce the enriched uranium, Iranian officials said. They will install 3,000 of the devices this year as part of a plan to expand the program to 54,000 centrifuges, deputy nuclear chief Mohammad Saeedi said on state-run television today, according to the Associated Press.
It takes 1,000 centrifuges working non-stop for a year to enrich enough uranium for a bomb, the UN’s nuclear watchdog agency has said.
French, Russian Reaction
“We are very much concerned,” French Ambassador Jean-Marc de La Sabliere told reporters at the UN. He said that while the permanent members of the Security Council would hold private talks on the Iranian issue in the coming days, there would be no full council meeting until International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Mohamed ElBaradei reports to the panel.
The French Foreign Ministry issued a statement calling the developments “worrying” and urging Iran to “suspend her dangerous activities.”
Russia called on Iran to cooperate with the IAEA, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in a statement yesterday on his Web site. “We support the continuation and intensification of cooperation between Iran and the IAEA,” Lavrov said. “We call on Iran to actively cooperate with the agency.”
The Security Council statement adopted on March 29 asked ElBaradei, who is in Iran for talks with government officials today, to report on Iranian compliance in 30 days.
Wang noted ElBaradei’s meeting while saying China continues to favor a diplomatic solution to the crisis and that his government “definitely” opposes sanctions on Iran.
“To talk about military solutions and sanctions will not be helpful under the current circumstances,” Wang said. “We appeal to all parties to exercise restraint, to act constructively, to not take actions to further aggravate the situation.”