China is ready to strengthen diplomatic relations with Iran, regardless of sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic over its nuclear program, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang said on Thursday.
The United Nations Security Council approved on Wednesday a new package of economic sanctions against Iran. It includes tougher financial controls and an expanded arms embargo. The sanctions also stipulate an asset ban and a travel freeze on more than three dozen companies and individuals.
Twelve members of the council's 15 members voted for the resolution, which was sponsored by the five permanent members of the Security Council - the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia. Turkey and Brazil, two of the Council's current rotating members, voted against the resolution.
"The UN Security Council resolution does not mean the doors for the continuation of diplomatic relations are closed," Qin said. "The international community should use this opportunity to strengthen diplomatic efforts for the quick, comprehensive and adequate settlement of the Iranian issue."
The spokesman said China supports a 'double track' strategy on Iran, involving both sanctions and further negotiations, and is ready to continue work in this direction with all interested parties.
"The main goal is not to impose sanctions but to return Iran to negotiations and create favorable conditions to solve this [the nuclear] problem," Qin said.
Answering the question why China has supported the sanctions, the spokesman said the country's position has not changed. "China understands the need to ensure the effectiveness of nonproliferation and maintaining peace and stability in the Middle East."
Qin also said Beijing sticks to the position that UN sanctions are not a "fundamental solution" to the Iranian nuclear issue.
BEIJING, June 10 (RIA Novosti)