China Unlikely To Support Anti-Nuclear Sanctions Against Oil Ally Iran

"China will seek to stave off new UN sanctions against Tehran even as Iran ups the ante, experts on the relationship between the two countries say. China's backing for sanctions is essential because of its security council veto, and because its expanding economic ties with Iran would otherwise weaken their impact. Dealing with Iran was a focus of Barack Obama's meetings with Chinese leaders last month. Some observers thought those discussions, and Russia's increasingly sympathetic stance, had shifted Beijing's position substantially; days later, it supported an IAEA motion of censure. Last week, as the US, France and Britain warned Iran it might face new sanctions, both the Chinese and Russian UN ambassadors called for patience. Zhang Yesui, China's representative at the UN, told the security council debate that Beijing was committed to negotiations with Tehran. Yao Jide, director of the Iran studies centre at Yunnan University, said: ""China is not likely to approve new sanctions.