Chinese PM dismisses Iran sanctions as "counterproductive"

September 7, 2006
BERLIN (IRNA) -- Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao on Wednesday rejected U.S. calls for imposing sanctions on Iran, calling them "counterproductive."

"Imposing sanctions will not necessarily lead us to our goal, and may even prove counter-productive. The parties involved should be cautious about moving toward sanctions," Wen said in a rare interview with DPA joined by a select group of four other media outlets.

"To peacefully resolve the Iranian nuclear issue is in the interest of global peace and stability and easing tension in the Middle East. We hope the parties concerned will be patient, show flexibility and work for the early resumption of negotiations," he added. Wen stressed that peaceful settlement of the international impasse over the Iranian nuclear programs of both Iran and North Korea "requires committed diplomatic efforts."

He said the European Union (EU) played a "key role" in the search for a peaceful resolution of the dispute over Tehran's nuclear program.

The Chinese leader pledged that this country would "continue to cooperate and coordinate closely with the EU" in a bid to find a peaceful settlement of the nuclear dispute with Iran.

Wen is expected to arrive in Berlin next week for talks with with Chancellor Angela Merkel.