Big Three oppose sanctions on Iran

August 31, 2006

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UNITED NATIONS, Aug 30: China, Russia and France have cautioned against any rush to impose sanctions on Tehran as the UN Security Council’s deadline (Aug 31) on Tehran to end its nuclear programme neared.

The three of five permanent members of the 15-member UN Security Council with veto powers wield considerable clout, and Washington could be forced to consider going it alone on sanctions against Tehran.

China said on Tuesday that the proposals made by Iran in response to the incentives given it by the international community have some merit and need to be looked at seriously by the UN Security Council.

“It has some “positive elements” which we must study carefully, aid China’s Ambassador to the United Nations Wang Guangya as he cautioned against rejecting Iran’s response without looking at it carefully.

In an interview he noted that Tehran may not have responded to all the proposals as we wished it to do but its proposals does have some sound elements of and we should not reject it.

Similarly, Russia and France have also weighed in opposing any sanctions on Tehran immediately instead they have called for more diplomacy.

Russia’s Defence Minister Sergei B. Ivanov on Friday made it clear that Russia would not support taking the next step that the United States and Britain have called for: imposing sanctions against Iran or its leaders over its nuclear programmes. The Council set Aug 31 as the deadline for Iran to respond to its demand.

The French foreign minister, Philippe Douste-Blazy, said in Paris that Iran’s response was “not satisfactory” but warned that it would be worse “to lend fire to a confrontation between Iran on one side —- the Muslim world with Iran — and the West.”