China is pushing back against any new sanctions for Iran, saying greater diplomatic efforts are needed.
Iran says it will only release uranium if it's given fuel rods immediately. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Tuesday reiterated previous statements that international sanctions will not stop his regime from pursuing nuclear power.
The U.S. and its allies are planning to impose fresh sanctions on Iran after failing to reach an agreement on a fuel exchange. But China is resisting. A spokesman for the Foreign Ministry said Tuesday that China hopes the nuclear problem will be solved diplomatically. That contradicts a statement made Monday by the White House, in which the press secretary implied that there was solidarity between the U.S. and China when it comes to dealing with Iran. "We believe strongly, and I think the Chinese believe, that an arms race either in the Middle East or an international arms race is, in no way, in their interest," Robert Gibbs said in the daily press briefing.
Tensions have flared recently between the U.S. and China over an American arms sale to Taiwan and President Obama's meeting with the Dalai Lama. Although several recent U.S. presidents have met with the Tibetan spiritual leader, the Chinese lashed out at the Obama administration for agreeing to the meeting. The Foreign Ministry Tuesday accused the U.S. of seriously endangering relations between the two countries.