U.S. pushes China on Iran sanctions

PARIS — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton warned China on Friday that it faced international pressure and increasing isolation unless it joined other world powers in sanctioning Iran to try to halt Tehran's nuclear ambitions.

Clinton, speaking at a leading French military academy in Paris, said China and five other leading nations have been united to date in trying to dissuade Iran to halt uranium enrichment they fear is aimed at acquiring nuclear weaponry know-how.

But now that China is balking at joining the others in a new round of U.N. sanctions, Clinton said, "China will be under a lot of pressure to recognize the destabilizing impact that a nuclear-armed Iran would have in the (Persian) Gulf, from which they receive a significant percentage of their own supplies."

She told an audience of military experts and officers at the Ecole Militaire that "we understand that right now it seems counterproductive to you to sanction a country from which you get so much of the natural resources your growing economy needs."

But, she said, Beijing "needs to think about the longer-term implications."

Clinton said an Iranian bomb would produce an arms race and would convince Israel that it faces an "existential threat. … All of that is incredibly dangerous."

U.S. officials believe they have finally persuaded Russia to join France, Britain, Germany and the United States in a new round of U.N. sanctions. China remains the lone holdout, urging diplomacy to talk the Iranians into cooperation.

Executions urged: A powerful hard-line Iranian cleric, Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, on Friday called for the execution of more opposition activists to silence antigovernment protests.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

U.S. pushes China on Iran sanctions 01/29/10 [Last modified: Friday, January 29, 2010 11:14pm]

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