Israel welcomes China decision to discuss Iran sanctions
Israel today welcomed China's decision to discuss new UN sanctions against Iran while expressing doubt that the measures under consideration would do much to slow Tehran's nuclear drive.world Updated: Apr 01, 2010 12:07 IST
Israel on Thursday welcomed China's decision to discuss new UN sanctions against Iran while expressing doubt that the measures under consideration would do much to slow Tehran's nuclear drive.
"It's an interesting change and progress on the part of China, which has eased its opposition to new sanctions against Iran, but there is no need to indulge in premature joy," Israel's UN ambassador Gabriela Shalev said.
"Ultimately, the United Nations will not impose crippling sanctions against the Iranian regime," she added in an interview with Israel's army radio.
The United States said Wednesday that China was ready to hold "serious" talks at the United Nations on sanctions to curb Iran's nuclear programme, which Israel and the West believe is secretly aimed at producing weapons.
China has veto power on UN Security Council resolutions and has consistently opposed punishing Iran.
Israel has called for heavy sanctions on Iran's energy sector, but Shalev said that the United Nations was unlikely to agree to them.
"The new sanctions, if they are adopted, will not prevent Iran from continuing its operations to enrich uranium, but will be penalties imposed only on the Revolutionary Guards," she said, referring to Iran's military elite.
She added, however, that countries like the United States could impose tougher sanctions in parallel to the UN decision.
The Security Council already has slapped three rounds of sanctions on the Islamic republic over its refusal to halt uranium enrichment, which Tehran insists is for entirely peaceful purposes.