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'China concerned over ramifications of sanctions on Iran'

US President Barack Obama today said, that China has sent its representatives to New York for negotiations on drafting another set of UN Security Council resolution against Iran over its nuclear programme.

world Updated: Apr 14, 2010 11:58 IST

US President Barack Obama on Wednesday said, that China has sent its representatives to New York for negotiations on drafting another set of UN Security Council resolution against Iran over its nuclear programme.

"The Chinese are obviously concerned about what ramifications this might have on the economy generally. Iran is an oil-producing state. I think that a lot of countries around the world have trade relationships with Iran. We are mindful of that," Obama said.

On Monday, Obama had a 90-minute meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao during which Iran was a prominent issue of discussion.

China, a close ally of Iran, has maintained that sanctions and pressure cannot resolve Tehran's nuclear issue and the matter should be resolved diplomatically.

"What I said to President Hu and what I've said to every world leader that I talked to is that words have to mean something, there have to be some consequences. And if we are saying that the NPT is important, if we're saying that non-proliferation is important, then when those obligations are repeatedly flouted, then it's important for the international community to come together," he argued.

China, he said, has sent official representatives to negotiations in New York to begin the process of drafting a sanctions resolution.

"That is part of the P5-plus-1 effort. The United States is not moving this process alone; we have got the participation of the Russians as well as the other members of the P5-plus-1, all of whom believe that it is important for us to send a strong signal to Iran that their consistent violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions as well as their obligations under the NPT have consequences, and that they’ve got a better path to take," he said.

Obama reiterated that his interest is not having a long, drawn-out process for months.

"I want to see US move forward boldly and quickly to send the kind of message that will allow Iran to make a different calculation," he said.

The US President said, that under the NPT Iran has the right to develop peaceful civilian nuclear energy.

"But given the repeated violations that we have seen on the part of Iran, I think understandably the world community questions their commitment towards a peaceful civilian energy programme. They have a way of restoring that trust," he said.

On North Korea, Obama said, the communist state has "chosen a path of severe isolation that has been extraordinarily damaging to its people."

"It is our hope that as pressure builds for North Korea to improve its economic performance, for example, to break out of that isolation that we'll see a return to the six-party talks and that we will see a change in behaviour," Obama said.