China steps up pressure to prevent any attack on Iran

BEIJING Fri Apr 6, 2012 4:05am EDT

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BEIJING (Reuters) - A senior Chinese diplomat said on Friday an attack on Iran would invite devastating retaliation that would envelop the region and destabilize the global economic recovery, and added that the international community had to restrain itself from war.

Iran is locked in a dispute with the West over its nuclear program, which Iran says is for peaceful purposes.

Israel and the United States have threatened military action against Iran unless it abandons activities which the West suspects are intended to develop nuclear weapons.

China, which has close energy and trade ties with Iran, has urged a negotiated solution to the dispute and long opposed the use of force or unilateral sanctions on Iran.

The comments by Chen Xiaodong, head of the Foreign Ministry's West Asia and North African affairs division, was China's strongest warning yet not to use force to resolve the dispute.

"If force is used on Iran, it will certainly incur retaliation, cause an even greater military clash, worsen turmoil in the region, threaten the security of the Strait of Hormuz and other strategic passages, drive up global oil prices and strike a blow at the world economic recovery," he said.

"There may be 10,000 reasons to go to war but you cannot remedy the terrible consequences of plunging the people into misery and suffering and the collapse of society and the economy caused by the flames of war," Chen said on a web chat hosted by Communist Party mouthpiece the People's Daily.

Speculation is growing that Israel could launch some form of strike against Iranian nuclear installations, which Israel sees as a threat to its existence.

During a visit to Beijing last month, Israel's foreign minister hinted it could launch a preemptive attack on Iran despite repeated calls by China to allow diplomacy to take its course.

Chen said the pressing task was for all sides to restrain themselves and resume dialogue as soon as possible.

"The international community has a responsibility to restrain itself from war," he said.

More talks between Iran and world powers are expected to take place this month in an attempt to reach a compromise.

The most recent talks failed in January 2011 after Iran refused to suspend its uranium enrichment work, as demanded by the United Nations in several resolutions.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Robert Birsel)

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Comments (4)
Tiu wrote:
It’s the multi-national oil companies who need to restrain themselves. Israel is a very predictable pawn in the game. The chances of them listening to China is zero – the Chinese are the wrong type, and type is the be-all and end-all in Israel’s respect agenda.
Any deluded fool who thinks this is a conflict about religion is… a deluded fool.

Apr 06, 2012 4:38am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Tiu wrote:

a little background reading on the Sturm ├╝ber Asien.

Apr 06, 2012 4:42am EDT  --  Report as abuse
To date, in spite of bluster and propaganda headlines telling us how badly U.S. sanctions are hurting Iran, Iran has not retaliated but has taken the blows and found increasing international support. I knew a decade ago that the world would not allow Iran to be attacked without risking complete annihilation for all of us. Every day that passes the U.S. empire grows weaker and loses more of its grip on world affairs. A new international paradigm is emerging, so far without global war.

May it be that way for all of human experience as our species longs and cries for new light, new vision, and new hope. — Michael C. Ruppert

Apr 06, 2012 2:28pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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