Thursday, June 12, 2008
China Joins EU to Deliver Nuclear Plan to Iran
China will join EU and Russia to deliver a new plan to Iran on Saturday to persuade Tehran to suspend its uranium enrichment program. Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang made the announcement today in Beijing. China’s Assistant Foreign Minister Liu Jieyi will attend the delivery on behalf of China. EU will be represented by foreign policy chief Javier Solana [Xinhua, 12 June].
“China hopes relevant parties to strengthen diplomatic efforts, show flexibility and achieve resuming talks at an early date so as to seek a comprehensive and long-term solution to the Iran nuclear issue,” Qin said.
China is for the first time pressing Iran publicly to restart talks on ending the nuclear standoff. The statement by the foreign ministry spokesman today called on Iran to “show flexibility” and to seek “a comprehensive and long-term solution” to nuclear issue.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad yesterday dismissed the new EU plan and mocked the West by saying they “cannot do anything.” Chinese public support for the plan will put pressure on Iran to revaluate Solana’s visit to Tehran on Saturday. The EU has said if Iran rejects the new plan, it will impose sanctions on Iran beyond those mandated by the UN.