China, Russia to discuss Iran
Amid a US-led drive to impose fresh sanctions on Iran, two veto-wielding members of the UN Security Council, China and Russia, will discuss Iran’s nuclear issue.
Chinese President Hu Jintao is set to hold talks with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin during a two-day visit to Moscow scheduled to take place on May 8.
“The leaders of the two countries will exchange views on international and regional issues of shared interest, which of course includes the Iranian nuclear issue,” Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Cheng Guoping said on Wednesday.
“China and Russia have similar views on this issue,” he explained.
The discussions come as Russia has remained vague on its stance on the Iranian nuclear row, shifting from support for Tehran’s civilian nuclear program to veiled cautions that it may join ship with the US for more sanctions.
Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stressed last week that the Kremlin would never support the use of force against Iran as it would entail catastrophic consequences for Europe along with “the Middle East, Near East, Central Asia, and the Caucasus region.”
However, Lavrov also showed the strongest signal yet of support for the US-pursued sanctions against Iran and warned Tehran that passing the measure could become “inevitable.”
China, one of the five permanent veto holders of the 15-member Security Council, has been reluctant to slap tougher sanctions on Iran and has urged diplomacy for finding a solution to the nuclear deadlock.