US calls for unity with China on Iran
‘It’s important to have an international consensus on
how to deal with Iran’s nuclear program’:
US: The United States called Wednesday for a united front with
China against Iran's nuclear program as it debates whether to slap
sanctions on the Asian power over oil purchases from the Islamic
The United States has exempted 18 nations but not China from tough
sanctions that come into effect on June 28 on countries that buy oil
from Iran, which Israel and some Western officials accuse of building a
Kurt Campbell, the top State Department official on East Asia, said
that the United States and China were “right in the middle” of talks
about Iran and did not answer a question on whether Beijing would
receive an exemption.
“We have underscored how important it is to have a solid, unified
international consensus about how to deal with the challenges posed by
Iran's nuclear program,” Campbell said at the Center for a New American
Security, a Washington think-tank.
But Campbell welcomed China's efforts in the so-called P5+1-- a group
comprising Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States
that is negotiating with Iran over its nuclear program.
“I must say we have thanked China for their support within the P5+1
and we will continue close consultations with them going forward,” he
China has defended its oil purchases, saying that they were legal and
transparent and criticizing the United States for imposing sanctions
unilaterally instead of working through the United Nations.
The sanctions would bar business with financial institutions of
countries that do business with Iran's central bank, which handles oil
transactions, effectively forcing a choice between operating in Iran or
the United States.
On Monday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton exempted emerging
economies including India -- which was initially angered by the US law
but has pledged to cut oil purchases from Iran, which with New Delhi has
traditionally warm ties. AFP