China, Russia united on Iran

Beijing, March 21 | Updated: Mar 22 2006, 05:53am hrs
China and Russia are united in pushing for more diplomacy to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue, China said on Tuesday, a day after the two deflected Western moves to authorize U.N. Security Council threats against Iran.

After more than two weeks of discussions, the five veto-wielding members of the Security Council China, Russia, the United States, Britain and France have been unable to agree on a draft statement that tells Iran to stop enriching uranium.China and Russia have common views on how to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue, Chinas Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told a regular news conference.

Our objectives are to solve the issue in a peaceful way through negotiations, he said, as Chinese President Hu Jintao and Russian President Vladimir Putin held talks in Beijing.

Iran insists it has the right to atomic research which it says is for peaceful purposes but the Western powers believe it is seeking the ability to make nuclear weapons.Qin said China supported a Russian compromise proposal that would allow Iran to use nuclear fuel enriched in an internationally monitored plant on Russian soil, easing fears that Tehran could divert atomic material to develop weapons.

Under current circumstances, Russias proposal is a helpful way to break the impasse, Qin said. We call on all parties concerned to step up their negotiations and demonstrate flexibility.

Both Russia and China are wary of action by the Security Council, which can impose sanctions, fearing threats might escalate and prompt Iran to cut off contact with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna.