International Sanctions Won’t Stop Iran’s Nuke Programme: Jalili

Amid mounting from China and the US over country’s nuclear ambitions, Iran’s most senior nuclear negotiator has said that international sanctions will not stop Tehran’s nuke programme, said media reports.

According to Reuters, Saeed Jalili said after his talks with China’s foreign minister Yang Jiechi that Beijing agreed that sanctions were ‘not effective’.

It may be mentioned that China had hinted earlier this week that it would support American calls for tougher sanctions against Tehran by the UN.

In the meanwhile, China’s foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang was quoted as saying by the Guardian: “China expresses its serious concern about the Iran nuclear issue situation. China is in close contact with relevant parties and is striving for a proper settlement of the issue through diplomatic means.”

Jalili’s remarks, carrying defiant message as they are, came after US President Barack Obama geared up his efforts to secure Beijing’s backing for sanctions with an hour-long phone call to the Chinese president, Hu Jintao.

A White House statement said that during the call, Obama ‘underscored the importance of working together to ensure that Iran lives up to its international obligations’, said reports.

It should be noted that China has a veto on the UN Security Council, and its support would be vital to passing a resolution against Iran over fears it is developing nuclear weapons. Tehran insists its nuclear programme is only for peaceful power generation.

China traditionally opposes sanctions as it depends on Iran for 11% of its energy needs.

(Based on internet reports)

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