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China warns Iran against nuclear weapons

Chinaese Premier Wen Jiabao speaks at the National People's Congress in Beijing March 5, 2011. During a visit to the Middle East, Jiabao warned Iran against obtaining nuclear weapons. UPI/Stephen Shaver
Chinaese Premier Wen Jiabao speaks at the National People's Congress in Beijing March 5, 2011. During a visit to the Middle East, Jiabao warned Iran against obtaining nuclear weapons. UPI/Stephen Shaver | License Photo

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, Jan. 20 (UPI) -- China is warning Iran against developing nuclear weapons, observers said.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, on a visit the Middle East, appeared to be trying to send Iran the message that China will not alienate itself from the rest of the world with regard to Iran, a foreign policy expert told Britain's Daily Telegraph.

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"China adamantly opposes Iran developing and possessing nuclear weapons," Wen said.

The Washington Post said China cut its oil imports from Iran this month nearly in half to 285,000 barrels a day.

"Iran would not have wanted China to make this statement, but Iran must understand that if it comes down to a choice China will not alienate itself from the rest of the world for the sake of a single country," Yu Guoqing, a researcher on the Middle East at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Telegraph.

On Wednesday, Wen said China opposed Iran's threats to blockade an important oil-transport route through the Strait of Hormuz. Iran has threatened to close the strait if an oil embargo is imposed against the country.

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