Israel admits it cannot sway China on Iran

February 28, 2010

Israeli War Minister Ehud Barak, who was visiting Washington, confessed on Friday that Tel Aviv has limited sway over veto-wielding China to win the country’s agreement for new sanctions against Iran for its peaceful nuclear program.

Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer and Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon are in China for what some analysts see as a last-ditch mission to craft Security Council consensus on Iran, Reuters reported.
China is most resistant to impose sanctions on Tehran which its nuclear enrichment project is monitored by the International Atomic Energy Agency.
“You are living a symbiotic relationship with (China)... based on the amount of American bonds that they hold. They didn’t buy a lot of bonds in (Israeli) shekels,” Barak said in an address to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
“Our mission there (Beijing) is just about information,” Reuters quoted Barak as saying.
“We need to share with them our feeling about what’s going on with the Iranian project. The Chinese are interested in facts, and we are interested in sharing with them,” Barak claimed.
Both Israel and the United States are hoping to woo Beijing with the argument that escalation of hostilities involving Iran would threaten China’s supply of crude oil and natural gas, which it needs to keep its rapidly growing economy humming.
The Chinese side has given scant indication of the content of the Israeli arguments being aired in Beijing, and has publicly stuck to its long-standing position that diplomacy and dialogue is the best approach to Iran.
Iran was China’s third-largest supplier of crude oil last year, and China is a major investor in Iran’s petroleum sector.