China renews support for Iran’s nuclear energy program
Thu Jan 17, 2013 2:20AM
China has welcomed Iran's re-affirmation of a religious decree against nuclear weapons, issued by the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei. China is a member of the P-Five-Plus-One which has held several rounds of talks with Iran over its nuclear energy program.In Beijing, the Chinese government welcomes Iran's offer to have its fatwa banning the possession of nuclear weapons, issued by the leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, registered as an international document. Iran says such a decree has the highest binding authority. Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei was addressing reporters on the eve of talks between the International Atomic Energy Agency and Iran on its nuclear program; negotiations likely to focus on access to a military site called Parchin where the IAEA says a national intelligence agency--- it refuses to name ---alleges Iran conducted explosive tests needed to set off a nuclear charge. While America and its allies accuse Iran of secretly developing nuclear weapons, Iran has long maintained that its nuclear program is only for civilian and peaceful purposes. The American government has led Europe in imposing tough sanctions against Tehran which it says are intended to force the Islamic Republic into proving, with verification by the IAEA, that it is not pursuing nuclear weapons. Iran says the terms of the non-proliferation treaty do not require access to non-nuclear sites like Parchin. It says past compliance with IAEA demands, including two visits it did allow to Parchin that found nothing, have simply been met with more demands. Visits by IAEA inspectors have also been followed by the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists. As a member of the P5+1 group of nations in negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program, China says it recognizes that constant IAEA monitoring of Iran’s nuclear facilities has detected no diversion of nuclear material. Chinese experts say that makes it impossible for Iran to build a bomb. Iran was guaranteed the right to enrich uranium for civilian program when it signed the non-proliferation treaty. While America is demanding Iran now give up this right, it is also protecting the nuclear program of Israel, the Middle East’s sole possessor of nuclear weapons. In December the US opposed an overwhelming majority vote at the UN calling for Israel to open the doors of its nuclear program to international inspectors.