Iran’s top nuclear negotiator warned the West to stop “threatening” Tehran as US President Barack Obama urged Chinese President Hu Jintao to cooperate in blocking Iran’s atomic ambitions.
The harsh words from Saeed Jalili came as Western calls mount for tough new punitive action against Iran over its suspect nuclear programme — action that hinges on the approval of China, which wields a UN Security Council veto.
The Obama administration is hoping to get a UN resolution on Iran passed by the end of this month.
Beijing has until now refused to back Western calls for new sanctions, and earlier in the day again urged all parties to hold more talks and “show flexibility” in resolving the international standoff over Iran’s atomic drive. In a phone call with Hu, Obama called for better Sino-US cooperation to ensure “that Iran lives up to its international obligations,” the White House said.
Jalili suggested, however, that Beijing was heeding Tehran’s calls for help.
“Many issues came up in our talks on which China accepted Iran’s position,” Jalili told reporters after talks with Chinese officials including Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and State Councillor Dai Bingguo.