China: Things have changed on Iran

Ambassador to UN says rethink needed on plan for new sanctions against Tehran.

china's un envoy wang guangya
Wang Guangya: Now things have changed [EPA]
“Certainly I think we will study the contents and also think about the implications for the [UN Security] Council’s action here.”
Full transcript

NIE report: Iran Nuclear Intentions and Capabilities

Representatives of the US, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany met in Paris on Saturday to decide what the next steps would be in their efforts to make Iran comply with a UN-ordered halt to its uranium enrichment programme.

The six powers said after the meeting they had agreed to start work on a UN Security Council resolution calling for new sanctions against Tehran.
Support for US
On Tuesday, France and Britain joined the US in saying international pressure must be maintained on Iran and they were willing to push ahead with the sanctions plan.

Condoleezza Rice, the US secretary of state, said she would continue to push for a third UN sanctions resolution against Iran for defying UN Security Council demands that it stops enriching uranium.

Britain, whose position on Iran is closely aligned with Washington’s, said on Tuesday that it would also continue to push for increased international pressure.
“We think the report’s conclusions justify the actions already taken by the international community,” a spokesman for Gordon Brown, the British prime minister, said.
“It confirms we were right to be worried about Iran seeking to develop nuclear weapons [and] shows that the sanctions programme and international pressure were having an effect in that they seem to have abandoned the weaponisation element.”
France took a similar stand, saying that the elements of the report appeared to show that Iran was not respecting its international obligations.
“We must keep up the pressure on Iran … we will continue to work on the introduction of restrictive measures in the framework of the United Nations,” a French foreign ministry spokeswoman said.
Israel questions report
Israel, the only country in the Middle East believed to have a nuclear arsenal, questioned the findings of the US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), saying that efforts to curb Iran’s nuclear programme should continue regardless.

Iran welcomes US nuclear report
Bush: Iran remains a danger 

IAEA: Report ‘defuses’ Iran tension
Timeline: Iran’s nuclear programme

Ehud Barak, Israel’s defence minister, told Army Radio that, as far as Israel knew, Iran had probably renewed its weapons programme since 2003.

Ehud Olmert, Israeli prime minister, said that he would continue to push the US and other allies move to halt Tehran’s nuclear programme.
“It is vital to pursue efforts to prevent Iran from developing a capability like this and we will continue doing so along with our friends the United States,” he said.
Source: News Agencies