China reaffirms support for Iran’s nuclear rights

China reaffirms support for Iran’s nuclear rights
# 12 September 2012 03:20 (UTC +04:00)
Baku-APA. China has once again expressed support for Iran’s nuclear energy program and has insisted that diplomacy is the only way to resolve the West’s dispute with Iran over the program, APA reports quoting Press TV.

The chairman of the Standing Committee of the Chinese National People’s Congress, Wu Bangguo, made the remarks during a meeting with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Tehran on Tuesday, the president’s official website reported.

Wu said that China believes the Islamic Republic’s “right to the peaceful use of nuclear energy must be respected” and Beijing opposes “pressure, sanctions, and threats of any kind in this regard.”

The high-ranking Chinese official also said that “the expansion of Tehran-Beijing cooperation is in line with the common interests of the two countries” and efforts must be made to rise to “the challenges posed by the enemies.”

Ahmadinejad asserted that the enemies “are not as powerful as they pretend to be,” and said that Iran and China “will act in the interests of the two countries, regardless of the enemies’ pressure.”

The Iranian president also noted that there should be no limitation in the extent of economic exchanges between the two countries.

Wu is on a three-day official visit to Iran. He came to the country on the invitation of Iranian Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani.

At the beginning of 2012, the United States and the European Union imposed new sanctions on Iran’s oil and financial sectors with the goal of preventing other countries from purchasing Iranian oil and conducting transactions with the Central Bank of Iran.

The illegal US-engineered sanctions were imposed based on the unfounded accusation that Iran is pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program.

The US and Israel have repeatedly threatened to take military action against Iran in order to force the Islamic Republic to halt its uranium enrichment program, which Washington and Tel Aviv claim includes a military component.

Iran rejects the allegations, arguing that as a committed signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

In addition, the IAEA has conducted numerous inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities but has never found any evidence showing that Iran’s civilian nuclear program has been diverted to nuclear weapons production.

Iran is currently China’s third largest supplier of crude, providing Beijing with roughly 12 percent of its total annual oil consumption -- nearly one million barrels per day.

Trade between the two countries is currently dominated by Iran’s energy exports, while the main Chinese exports to Iran include machinery and textiles among other consumer goods.