The Iran Nuclear Issue: The View from Beijing

Hu Jintao and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

While China resists tougher UN Security Council sanctions on Iran, it is likely to ultimately come on board but will seek to delay and weaken the West’s desired measures. The Iran Nuclear Issue: The View from Beijing, a new briefing from the Plougshares-funded International Crisis Group, examines China’s hesitancy to support further sanctions on Iran. Nevertheless, Beijing can be expected to avoid a veto if it faces unanimous support for new sanctions from other Security Council members. 

“China lacks the West’s sense of fundamental urgency about the Iran nuclear issue”, explains Stephanie Kleine-Ahlbrandt, Crisis Group's China Adviser and North East Asia Project Director. “It has yet to be convinced that Tehran is on the cusp of achieving the capabilities to highly enrich and weaponise its uranium, or that there is an imminent threat of military confrontation in the Middle East."