BEIJING, Jan. 18 (UPI) -- China is not prepared to approve new sanctions against Iran, Chinese experts say.
China, the United States, Russia, Britain and France, the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, and Germany concluded during weekend talks in New York that Iran's latest demands on its nuclear program were unacceptable but failed to agree on new sanctions.
The China Daily quoted Chinese experts saying no new sanctions were possible while there is still room for negotiations. China has consistently maintained the issue should be resolved through peaceful diplomatic negotiations.
"It will be difficult for sanctions to be pushed forward, as China and Russia are not willing to do so when neither the United States nor Iran has completely abandoned peaceful talks," Hua Liming, China's former ambassador to Iran, told the China Daily.
"The Obama administration hasn't made any actual progress concerning Iran and the Middle East, let alone achieving any goals, since it took office," Hua said, adding the United States might modify the new sanctions to gain support from China and Russia.
"The Western powers will not get what they want from the six-nation talks," said Yin Gang, a Middle East studies expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. He said China would, however, support the major powers' demand to halt Iran's enrichment program near the holy city of Qom.
Yin said the program "clearly violates" the rules of the United Nations nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, and "China has always supported the IAEA."