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Explanatory Remarks by Permanent Representative of China to the UN Ambassador Wang Guangya at the Security Council after Taking Vote on Draft Resolution on Sanctions Against Iran

2007/03/24

Mr. President,

China has all along supported safeguarding the international nuclear non-proliferation mechanism and opposed the proliferation of nuclear weapons. We do not wish to see new turbulences in the Middle East. We are in favor of a peaceful solution to Iran's nuclear issue through political and diplomatic efforts and negotiations.

Currently, the development of Iran's nuclear issue is worrisome. China respects and recognizes Iran's right to peaceful use of nuclear energy. However, we also feel disappointed that the Iranian side has failed to respond positively to the requests of the IAEA and the Security Council. Under such circumstances, we support the Security Council in taking further and appropriate actions to urge the Iranian side to suspend enrichment-related activities, in order to bring the process back to the negotiation track.

At the same time, China believes that any measure taken should aim at safeguarding the international non-proliferation mechanism and maintaining international and regional peace and stability. Actions taken by the Security Council should be appropriate, incremental and proportionate. They should help enhance diplomatic efforts rather than aggravating conflicts and leading to confrontation. As the resolution adopted just now has basically reflected China's above views, we have voted in favor of the resolution before us.

It needs to point out that the purpose of the new Security Council resolution is not to punish Iran but to urge Iran to return to the negotiations and reactivate diplomatic efforts. The relevant sanction measures should neither harm the Iranian people nor affect normal economic, trade and financial exchanges between Iran and other countries. The new resolution does not introduce any change to the exemption provisions in paragraph 15 of Resolution 1737. The asset freeze, therefore, does not prevent a person or entity designated in the annexes to the UN Security Council Resolution 1737 and to this Resolution from making payment due under a contract entered into force before that person or entity was listed in cases covered by paragraph 15. The new resolution and the sanction measures in Resolution 1737 are all reversible. If Iran suspends its enrichment related and reprocessing activities, and complies with the relevant resolutions of the IAEA and the Security Council, the Security Council shall suspend and even terminate the sanction measures.

Mr. President,

It is impossible to resolve the issue fundamentally by imposing sanctions and pressure only. Diplomatic talks remain the best option. This is also a common understanding of the international community. Solution to the Iranian nuclear issue requires all-round diplomatic efforts, especially diplomatic efforts outside the Security Council. We wish to call upon all the parties concerned to adopt a highly responsible and constructive attitude, keep calm, practice restraint, and refrain from any actions that may lead to deterioration or escalation of the tension. At the same time, we should bear in mind the following principles in seeking solutions to the Iran's nuclear issue:

1. In handling the Iran's nuclear issue, safeguarding international non-proliferation mechanism and maintaining international and regional peace and stability remain the premise and ultimate objective. No actions should go astray from this goal.

2. It is essential to keep the process on the track of dialogue and negotiation, and insist on seeking a peaceful solution through political and diplomatic efforts. It is therefore particularly important to reinforce diplomatic efforts outside the Security Council.

3. We should firmly safeguard the international non-proliferation mechanism, and IAEA remains the main framework for resolving the Iran's nuclear issue, and its authority and role should therefore be safeguarded and strengthened.

4. It is necessary to handle, in a balanced manner, the relations between peaceful use of nuclear energy and non-proliferation. The international community should recognize Iran's right to peaceful use of nuclear energy. Iran also has the obligation to accept IAEA's effective supervision, and resolve outstanding issues through cooperation with IAEA, so as to prove the peaceful nature of its nuclear program and establish international confidence in this.

5. All the parties concerned should act on the basis of equality and mutual respect, strengthen dialogue and communication, increase trust, reduce doubts, and remove each other's concerns, so as to create necessary atmosphere and conditions for the settlement of this issue.

6. The current urgent task for all the parties is to show full flexibility and creatively seek to resume negotiations. The June 2006 proposal put forward by the six countries is still on the table. The "time out" proposal by IAEA's Director-General Baradei and the establishment of mechanism of talks that includes Iran also deserve our consideration.

China is ready to work with other parties to continue to play its due role for a comprehensive and peaceful solution to the Iran's nuclear issue.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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